Celtics’ Paul Pierce gets his point across

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In the midst of chaos, a choppy game the Celtics didn’t deserve to win, the controversy caused by close friend and teammate Kevin Garnett, and his own offensive malaise through three quarters, Paul Pierce stepped to the forefront in overtime last night, reaching a milestone that many never believed possible.

Paul Pierce residing among the Celtic greats? Ha. Maybe among the Celtic greats of the 2000s or the post-Bird era. But not of all time. Not after being plagued by losing, immaturity, and bouts with selfishness.

Perhaps no athlete in Boston history has resurrected his image more than Pierce. Initially, he was a symbol of what was wrong with today’s NBA, a brash kid with a chip on his shoulder, angry that he had slipped to 10th in the 1998 draft and dropped into a situation where Celtics fans demanded and were accustomed to greatness.

It took Pierce years, countless growing pains, and a little help, but he reached greatness, and the sellout crowd of 18,624 at TD Garden understood the significance of the moment when Pierce stepped to the free throw line with 13.3 seconds left in overtime and the Celtics leading the Milwaukee Bucks, 99-97.

Not only was Pierce called upon as he has been repeatedly during his career to seal a win, but the first of the free throws would catapult him to a personal stratosphere, 20,000 career points, achieved by only 35 others.

Full story: Pierce gets his point across – The Boston Globe