By A. Sherrod Blakely
PORTLAND, Ore. The Boston Celtics got a tough, hard-earned 88-78 win over the Portland Trail Blazers Thursday night.
But like so many of their victories this season, it may have come at the cost of losing a starter.
Paul Pierce, who had 17 points, suffered what team officials are describing as a bruised right thigh injury.
That diagnosis came shortly after coach Doc Rivers had initially believed Pierce suffered a knee injury.
"Stuff that happens throughout the course of a game, bang knees, turn ankle," Pierce said.
Knee. Thigh. It doesn't matter.
Pierce's status is up in the air heading into Friday's game at Phoenix.
"Hopefully it doesn't swell up too much," Pierce said. "It swelled up a little bit, but not too bad. Hopefully it'll be all right for Friday."
And that is not good news for a Boston team that has been decimated by injuries all season.
With all the injuries that Boston has had this season, Pierce has managed to start all 45 games, a streak that might come to an end on Friday.
"He was struggling, trying to run," said Rivers. "We'll have to wait and see. I don't know if there are going to be X-rays or not. We didn't even check that. We don't need injuries, I can tell you that. We got enough of those."
If Pierce can't play, the C's would likely start either Marquis Daniels or Von Wafer.