Entries in Paul Pierce (63)


Nets Hold Off Raptors, 104-103 in Game 7, Prepare for Heat

Elsa/Getty Images(TORONTO) -- Paul Pierce was brought to Brooklyn for veteran leadership and clutch plays this offseason and delivered in Brooklyn's 104-103 win in Game 7 against Toronto.

Pierce only had 10 points, but blocked Raptors guard Kyle Lowry on the final play of the game to punch their ticket to the second round of the playoffs with a matchup against the Heat on Tuesday.

The Nets were up 100-93 with under three minutes remaining after Joe Johnson nailed a jumper, but Toronto quickly erased that lead to give Lowry a chance to win the game.

Johnson finished with 26 points and Marcus Thornton added 17 off the bench for Brooklyn.

"I just happened to be in the right place at the right time," Pierce said. "I saw him split the defenders, I saw him go up, I went up with him.

"I got my hand on the ball -- game over."

Lowry scored 28 in the loss and DeMar DeRozan chipped in with 18 in the loss.

The Nets were 4-0 this season against the Heat.

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Nets Fend Off Late Raptors' Rally, Take 2-1 Series Lead

Elsa/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Paul Pierce and Joe Johnson each hit two clutch free throws down the stretch to help the Brooklyn Nets fend off the Toronto Raptors, 102-98 Friday night, to take a 2-1 lead in their best-of-seven first round playoff series.

The Nets led 93-78 with 4:02 remaining in the game, but the Raptors proceeded to go on a 13-2 run to whittle the lead to four with 1:07 remaining in the game.

DeMar DeRozan then completed an old fashioned 3-point play to cut the Nets' lead to one with 34 seconds remaining. But the Raptors never got any closer, as Pierce and Johnson sealed the game at the line to clinch a Nets victory.

"It feels good to win, but at the same time you know you can be a lot better," said Pierce, who finished with 18 points. "I'm looking for down the road, I'm looking for when it's like that Game 6 or 7, if we're ever in that situation with this team, it's going to come to those little things and we can't afford those small mistakes."

Johnson finished with a team-high 29 points while Deron Williams added 22 points and eight assists in the win.

Game 4 is Sunday night in Brooklyn. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. Eastern.

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Nets Top Raptors 94-87 in Series Opener 

Claus Andersen/Getty Images(TORONTO) --  The Brooklyn Nets acquired Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett for moments like these.

Pierce scored nine of his 15 points in the fourth quarter, Garnett stepped up defensively during crunch time, and the Nets topped the Toronto Raptors 94-87 on Saturday in Game 1 of their first round playoff series.

Deron Williams and Joe Johnson each scored 24 points for Brooklyn, who took homecourt advantage from the Raptors despite making just 4 of 24 3-pointers.

Brooklyn got off to a hot start, but the Raptors kept battling back.  They took a 76-75 lead on a Greivis Vasquez transition three with just over five minutes to play, but the Nets immediately responded thanks to big plays from Pierce and Garnett.

"You just get that feeling, you've been in those situations a number of times," Pierce said. "I don't get rattled in the fourth quarter, down the stretch or in playoff settings. I've been in pretty much every playoff setting that you can imagine. I just try to stay calm and bring my calmness to the game."

There was a lot of trash talk between the two teams before the game.  General manager Masai Ujri even joined in on the fun.  He shouted "F--- Brooklyn!" at a fan rally outside Air Canada Centre prior to the game and it was caught on video by a fan.  He apologized at halftime with the Nets leading 50-46.

"Wrong choice of words out there," he said. "It is really not about me. It is about the players and the playoffs.

"Just trying to get the crowd out there rattled -- wrong choice of words. I apologize to kids out there and to the Brooklyn guys. Nothing against them. Just trying to get our fans going. That's it."

Kyle Lowry led Toronto with 22 points in the loss, while center Jonas Valanciunas chipped in 17 points and 18 rebounds.

Game 2 will be played on Tuesday night in Toronto.

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Pierce Becomes 18th Member of 25,000 Point Club

Jim McIsaac/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Brooklyn Nets forward Paul Pierce became the 18th member of the NBA's 25,000 point club in the team's loss to the Atlanta Hawks Friday.

Pierce hit a 3-pointer with 3:09 remaining in the second quarter giving him 25,001 points for his career.

After hitting the shot, the 36-year-old Pierce received an ovation from the crowd at Barclays Center.

Pierce joins teammate Kevin Garnett (25,619), Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki (26,733) and Kobe Bryant (31,700) as the only active players to have scored 25,000 points.

"It's better to be in the championship club obviously," Pierce said. "Statistical things, they come and go. There's gonna be players in the future that pass me up, but when you win, that lasts forever. It's great. I'm gonna enjoy being part of history. It's just a testament to my hard work and consistency over the years and good health."

Pierce played his first 15 NBA seasons for the Boston Celtics before being traded to Brooklyn last offseason.

The 2007-08 NBA Finals MVP has played in 1,174 games averaging 21.2 points, 5.9 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game.

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Nets Complete Season Sweep of Heat in Thriller 

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images Sport (MIAMI) --  Meet the Brooklyn Nets, the only NBA team this season to go undefeated against the Miami Heat.

Rookie Mason Plumlee blocked LeBron James' dunk attempt at the rim with two seconds left, and the Nets hung on to edge the two-time defending champs 88-87 on Tuesday night.

With the victory, the Nets (43-34), finished off a four-game regular season sweep of Miami. With time running down in the fourth quarter, James rose up for a dunk attempt and was met at the rim by Plumlee.  Replays showed Joe Johnson made some contact with James as he started his move and that Plumlee hit his hand on the dunk try, but the Heat never got a foul call as time expired.

"He grabbed my right hand," James said after his 29 point, 10 rebound performance. "He didn't do it on purpose, but he got my right hand."

Brooklyn became the first team in the last two years to sweep the Heat. Johnson led the way with 19 points, while Paul Pierce chipped in 14.

"They're a good team," Spoelstra said. "They're one of the hotter teams since All-Star break. Every single one of these games, however you want to slice it, however you get to that point, there are plays to be made in the fourth quarter. And for whatever reason, they've made more plays."

With the loss the Heat (53-24), saw its lead in the Eastern Conference shrink down to a half-game over the Indiana Pacers.  The two teams will meet in Miami for the final time in the regular season on Friday night.

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Pierce Leads Nets to 13th-Straight Home Win

Jim McIsaac/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Paul Pierce scored a game-high 22 points to help lead the Brooklyn Nets past the Minnesota Timberwolves 114-99 Sunday.

It's the Nets 13th-straight home win which ties the franchise record set in 2002. The streak is also tied for the longest in the NBA this season.

After scoring 17 points in the first quarter on Friday, Pierce was at it again Sunday, connecting on all six shots he took in the first to finish with 16 points for the period.

Brooklyn (39-33) improves to 29-12 since the New Year after starting off the season 10-21. 

"I think a lot of teams with bad character, bad leadership in the locker room would've laid down a long time ago. Probably by Christmas would've been making summer plans," Pierce said. "But not this group."

Brooklyn also received a significant contribution from its bench. Andray Blatche had 14 points and Alan Anderson added 13 to help the Nets bench outscore the Timberwolves 41-23.

Corey Brewer and Kevin Martin each had 21 points for Minnesota (36-36), which had its two-game winning streak snapped.

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Nets' Paul Pierce Leaves Door Open for Celtics Reunion

Jim McIsaac/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Even though he's left the Boston Celtics behind him, Brooklyn Nets forward Paul Pierce is open to coming back to the team as either a player or in the front office.

"Yeah, why not? Pierce told HoopsHype when asked if he'd play for the Celtics again. "Maybe as a player, maybe as a coach. Who knows what the future holds?"

The 36-year-old Pierce spent the first 15 seasons of his career with the Celtics, and established himself as one of the best players in franchise history, which was no easy feat.

During the off-season, Pierce was traded to the Nets along with Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry. Pierce thinks a Boston reunion is not out of the question down the line.

"I am going to still have relationships here. I'm always going to come to this city. Every year, when I'm done, I'm going to have a reason to come here," he said.

Pierce is a likely Hall of Famer, averaging 21.4 points per game during his career.

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Jason Collins Makes History as Nets Top Lakers 

Jeff Gross/Getty Images Sport (LOS ANGELES) --  History was made in Los Angeles on Sunday night.

Jason Collins signed a 10-day contract with the Brooklyn Nets earlier in the day, and he became the first openly gay athlete to serve as an active player in one of the four major U.S. professional sports leagues.

Nearly 10 months after he revealed his sexuality in a Sports Illustrated article, Collins played 11 minutes as the Nets defeated the Lakers 108-102. He had two rebounds and five fouls, but did not score any points.

"I know that I can play in the NBA and it felt good to be out there tonight," Collins said. "Conditioning-wise, I felt good. I don't think I got tired. It was a lot of fun to get back out on the court and set screens, hard fouls. Didn't take any charges tonight -- that'll change. I'll get in position next time. As far as basketball timing, it's going to take at least a couple of practices."

Deron Williams led the Nets (26-28) with a season-high 30 points and seven assists. Brooklyn snapped an 11-game losing streak against the Lakers.

"In the society we live in, you know this was going to happen eventually," Nets forward Paul Pierce said of Collins' first game. "He is a guy who's going to be able to open the door for so many athletes -- not only in America but around the world -- to feel comfortable to come out and not feel embarrassed and feel like they're welcomed in the sports world. It isn't about race, gender or sexuality. It's about being a part of a team and caring for one another. That's all that matters at the end of the day."

Collins is a 12-year NBA veteran who spent his first six-plus season with the Nets, helping them reach the NBA Finals in 2002 and 2003.  This was his first appearance in an NBA game since April 17, 2013, with the Washington Wizards.

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Pierce, Garnett Honored in Return to Boston as Nets Roll

Bruce Bennett/Getty Images(BOSTON) --  It was just another game for the Brooklyn Nets, but for Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, Sunday night's contest against the Boston Celtics was about way more than basketball.

Pierce and Garnett returned to Boston for the first time since the July blockbuster trade that sent them to the Nets. Afterwards, both future Hall of Famers said this was the toughest game they've ever had to play.

"It was tougher than any championship game. Tougher than any Game 7," Pierce said after the Nets topped the Celtics 85-79. "This game was just so hard to really just focus and concentrate on what was at hand."

Pierce played the first 15 seasons of his career in Boston, becoming the second all-time leading scorer in franchise history behind only John Havlicek. 

"This was by far the hardest day I've had to focus," added Garnett. "This was bigger than Minnesota, even when I went back to Minnesota."

Garnett played six seasons in Boston but he made a huge impact the second he got there.  The Celtics won the NBA championship in 2007-08, the first season Pierce and Garnett came together.

Both Pierce and Garnett have played a vital role in Brooklyn's turnaround.  The team started the season 10-21, but have gone 10-1 in 2014.

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Jason Kidd Credits Simplifying the Defense for Nets' Turnaround

Bruce Bennett/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The Brooklyn Nets have been playing much better basketball after a rocky start, and head coach Jason Kidd thinks that simplifying the defensive strategy has been a big part of the reason why.

"That's as good as it gets when you simplify things and guys have bought in and guys are doing it at a high level right now," Kidd said.

The Nets were coming off back-to-back blowout losses at the hands of the Denver Nuggets and New York Knicks, bringing their record to an uninspiring 5-14.

But since then, the team has won four our of their last five games, and have played much better at the defensive end of the floor. They were allowing 103.3 points per game, but over the past five games they've allowed just 93.6 points per game.

Coming into the season, many thought the Nets were legitimate NBA title contenders after acquiring Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Jason Terry, and others during the offseason.

Despite their struggles, the Nets are two games behind the Boston Celtics for first place in the Atlantic Division.

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