It was vintage Paul Pierce. Only the colors were different.
Pierce saved his best game of the season for when his old team came to town, racking 28 points, seven rebounds, three assists and two steals Monday night as his Washington Wizards outlasted the Boston Celtics 133-132 in double overtime.
The former C’s captain was surgical from deep (4-for-5 from 3-point range) and, is he is wont to do, shined brightest in clutch situations.
One of his two made baskets in the fourth quarter and overtime was a 3-pointer that forced the second extra session, and two of his most important plays — drawn fouls in overtime, one of which ended a highly productive night for Kelly Olynyk — don’t show up on the stat sheet.
— Pierce ended the night as the Wizards’ leading scorer, but the home stretch belonged to John Wall and John Wall alone. The All-Star point guard outscored the Celtics 10-2 by himself over the final 2:10 — a run that started, not coincidentally, when Olynyk fouled out.
“Transition baskets killed us in both overtimes,” Celtics coach Brad Stevens told reporters after the game. “John Wall killed us in transition. He flies down the court, and it?s so easy to say get back and get in front of him, but I thought a couple of time we were almost back, and we just couldn?t do anything about him when he finishes at full speed.”
Wall finished the game with 26 points, seven rebounds and a career-high 17 assists. He was extremely emotional afterward, although it had nothing to do with the game itself.
— Playing at the Verizon Center always seems to bring out the best in D.C.-area native Jeff Green, and Monday was no different. Green was the only Celtics starter to make a significant impact, tying Pierce for the game high with 28 points and going a perfect 11-for-11 from the free throw line.
— Unfortunately for Green, this one didn’t count:
— The Celtics’ bench was otherworldly, setting a single-game franchise record with 82 combined points. Olynyk, Evan Turner and Marcus Smart all played their best games of the season.
— Turner forced overtime with a corner three with 0.6 seconds remaining, sparking quite the reaction from the Celtics’ bench (or, more accurately, the Celtics’ starters).
— Brandon Bass, who finished with 19 points, nine rebounds and three steals in 31 minutes off the bench, almost gave this crazy game an even crazier ending. Bass grabbed a long rebound with three seconds remaining in the first overtime, sprinted the length of the court and put up a contested layup at the buzzer that barely missed its mark.
“Oh my God,” Bass lamented after the game, via MassLive.com’s Jay King. “That play there, man. I thought Paul Pierce was going to be part of my highlight tape.”
— The last time the Celtics scored 132 points in a game? Almost 10 years ago to the day.
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Thumbnail photo via Tommy Gilligan/USA TODAY Sports Images