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Pierce Responds

Steve Bulpett reports:

Paul Pierce released the following statement regarding the incident that resulted in the league fining him $25,000 for a "menacing gesture" toward Al Horford near the end of Game 3 last Saturday:

"I don’t want to take the focus away from the playoffs. In sports, emotions run high. After playing for 10 years in Boston, I think the Celtics fans know that I am a passionate player.

"I 100 percent do not in any way promote gang violence or anything close to it. I am sorry if it was misinterpreted that way in Saturday’s game.

"In fact, through my Truth foundation I am committed to giving back to youth groups and making sure young people have the opprtunities to succeed in life. I am extremely proud of the work I have done through the foundation to provide positive influences and safe havens for inner city kids."

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