Pierce fouled out of his 3rd game in this postseason, but not before contributing greatly to the winning effort. Also, not before adding to his impressive career stats.
Pierce broke into an extremely exclusive quartet with his 23-point, four-assist performance in Game 3. He joined Bill Russell, Larry Bird and John Havlicek as the only Celtics to record both 2,500 points and 500 assists over their postseason careers. "It’s amazing," said coach Doc Rivers. "I try to ignore that stuff, but it says a lot of things, including that you’ve been around here a long time. It says you’re pretty old, but also that you’re pretty good. You’ve had a pretty good career.
Hats off to the Captain.
Pierce also approved of the refs calling LeBron's shocking 6th foul.
Cameras caught Paul Pierce breaking into a wide smile with 1:51 left in overtime as LeBron James was called for his sixth and final foul, getting disqualified for just the fourth time in his career, and the first time since April 2008.
"Oh, it was very frustrating," Pierce said. "But it's gratifying when you see the other star player fouling out, also."
For his part, Pierce might need to start being more selective with his fouls. Sometimes there's nothing you can do about LeBron James barreling down the lane but to rake him across the arm and force him to earn it at the stripe.
But there are some fouls that Pierce might want to hold back on from time to time - even if it means giving up a layup. In the previous game in particular, a couple of back to back essentially intentional fouls came back to hurt him.
In this one, Doc mentioned that the foul trouble forced him to take Pierce out earlier than he wanted and it made it hard for him to get his rhythm back for the 4th quarter when the team could have used a few of those shots to fall.
Still, the Celtics are all even in the series and have a shot at their 3rd Finals appearance, so they must be doing something right. We want Pierce being aggressive on defense and not worrying about which situations are worth fouling or not. It is a delicate balance but that's what it takes to win.