Feb 5, 2017; Boston, MA, USA;  Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas (4) during the second half against the LA Clippers at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

After winning January’s Player of the Month award, Isaiah Thomas wins the Player of the Week award for the second time this season  (Bob DeChiara/USA Today)

Isaiah Thomas followed up his incredible month of scoring by earning the Eastern Conference Player of the Week award.

After winning Eastern Conference Player of the Month honors for the month of January, Thomas led the Celtics to a 4-0 record, while averaging 37.8 points and 6.8 assists. In two of those four games, he scored 40-plus points against the Pistons (41) and Raptors (44). 

Thomas also averaged an astonishing 17.5 fourth-quarter points last week.

Since his 52-point performance on Dec. 30, the All-Star guard has been on an unbelievable tear — averaging 34.8 points and 6.6 assists in 16 games.

Throughout that span, the Celtics (14-4) are tied with the Pacers (14-4) for the second-best record behind the Warriors (15-3). 

The C’s (33-18) are currently in second place in the Eastern Conference and will look to stretch their winning streak to seven consecutive games on Wednesday when they kick off a three-game road trip in Sacramento against the Kings.

Blog Author: 
Josue Pavon

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Paul Pierce looks forward to the day him, Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo have a reunion for the first time since 2012 (Josue Pavon/WEEI.com)

Before playing his final game in Boston, Paul Pierce answered an array of questions about his legacy, playing at TD Garden one last time and his role with the Clippers.

But when Pierce was asked about his relationship with Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo, he smiled. And talked about how he still keeps in touch with most of them.

Garnett is “having the time of his life,” said Pierce. He says Garnett’s show “Area 21,” a segment part of TNT’s weekly Thursday night broadcast along with being a consultant for the Clippers, has kept him busy throughout his first post-retirement season.

When he was asked about Rondo, Pierce said him and Rondo “talk all the time” and that Rondo’s rift with Bulls teammates Dwyane Wade and Jimmy Butler was simply, “Rajon being Rajon.”

“Just like Manny being Manny, he’s Rajon being Rajon,” Pierce jokingly said. “Man, you know what, I respect Rajon with some of the stuff he said, truthfully. I thought it was the truth. I didn’t have a problem with none of the stuff he said about Wade or Jimmy Butler because it was the honest truth. [If you] see the next game, Wade and Jimmy they got benched because what Rondo said was right.”

The Rondo conversation took a convenient segue into another member of the 2008 champion Celtics — Ray Allen. When Pierce was asked if he thought Garnett could ever patch up his relationship with Allen, one that deteriorated after Allen left the Celtics in 2012 to sign with LeBron James, Wade and the rival Heat, he replied:

“100 percent,” Pierce said. “I have no hard feelings towards Ray. That’s pretty much [what] a lot of people [think because of] how things ended kind of spicy with him going to Miami. But I think over time things will blow over. We’re all grown ups, we’ll all get over things. I’m sure that time will come. I don’t know when but like I said, I don’t have any hard feelings towards Ray.

“After he won a championship in Miami, that was the last time I talked to him,” Pierce said. “I congratulated him.” 

Will it take someone like Danny Ainge or Doc Rivers to set up a reunion between the four of you guys?

“I think it’s gonna come from one of us, I think we’re just gonna reach out. Maybe we’ll all have a reunion on Area 21 or something (laughs), maybe we’ll meet up over there.”  

Blog Author: 
Josue Pavon

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Paul Pierce listened to Celtics fans cheer before his name was called during player introductions (Josue Pavon/WEEI.com)

It was a perfect ending for the Celtics.

Paul Pierce knocked in the final shot, and the Celtics won the game. 

Towards the end of a 107-102 Celtics win over the Clippers, fans spent the most of the second half chanting for Pierce to come back in the game. With 19.8 second left, Clippers head coach Doc Rivers finally reinsert Pierce — who had been on the bench since the first quarter — and TD Garden went nuts.

With the game out of hand, the Celtics legend took a deep 3-pointer in front of Isaiah Thomas, and drained.

The Garden erupted.

What a fitting moment by Pierce to knock down the final shot, just like he’s done dozens of times throughout his 15 years with the Celtics.

“It’s a tough situation, been sitting for like the last two hours, then had to come in there and get a shot,” Pierce said with a smile on his face. “But I’m glad I ended it that way, [glad] I was able to. You know, you want to come in and get a win but it was a tough day, not only for me but for my teammates, it was a lot of emotion running through; my teammates kind of felt it too. I’m glad I was able to cap it off, my last game in the Garden, at least I can just say I put one last bucket in at the end of the game. 

“But it was tough, man. The fans are awesome. These are the best fans in the world. I never felt anything like this. I truly appreciate my time here. I truly appreciate tonight. These are the best fans in the world. I never felt anything like this. I truly appreciate my time here. I truly appreciate tonight. The fans showered me with a lot of love.” 

TD Garden wasted little time in showering Paul Pierce with a tribute video. During the first timeout of the first quarter — which was called at the 8:13 mark — a montage of some of Pierce’s greatest moments on the court played on the jumbotron to commemorate his final game. After Celtics fans gave a thunderous standing ovation for Pierce, one that continued as the game resumed, fans began chanting a “Thank you, Paul Pierce” chant.

Pierce didn’t come back into the game until the Clippers’ final play at the end of the fourth quarter. 

“You know you really don’t know what you meant to a team when you’re out there playing,” Pierce explained. “You really don’t get a chance to really reflect on it. It hit me a lot tonight and I’m sure it’s going to hit me a lot more when I’m done playing. This is something that I truly felt tonight.”

During the game, the home team gave their fans plenty more to cheer about. Behind Thomas’ 13 first-quarter points, the Celtics leaped out to a quick start by grabbing a 15-point lead. 

Isaiah Thomas’ 26 points led seven Celtics in double figures. Amir Johnson, Marcus Smart and Kelly Olynyk each finished with 13 points, while Jae Crowder, Al Horford and Jaylen Brown each added 11. 

Blake Griffin and Jamal Crawford both led their team with 23 points, Raymond Felton added 16 points off the bench and DeAndre Jordan grabbed a game-high 16 boards.

The Clippers found their offensive momentum in the in the second quarter by cutting their deficit to two points before the Celtics went an 11-2 run in less than two minutes. Horford, Crowder and Thomas all drained in three consecutive 3-pointers and Smart followed that up with a put-back layup to push their lead to 11.

Throughout the second half, the C’s kept their opponent at bay — grasping a double-digit lead through most of the final frame. 

After the game, Celtics fans stuck around and doused Pierce with a standing ovation as the former Celtics captain waved one last final time before he walked towards center court and kissed the logo. 

It was Pierce’s way of saying goodbye one last time.

“That was kind of pre-planned, I know I wanted to give Lucky one last kiss,” Pierce said. “Lucky’s been through it all with me, the ups and downs, even helped me out on a couple occasions. It was the last time I’m gonna touch this floor as a player. I’m sure I’ll be back as a fan but as a player that was my last time so I kissed the floor goodbye.”

Blog Author: 
Josue Pavon

May 3, 2013; Boston, MA, USA;  Boston Celtics small forward Paul Pierce (34) during the second quarter in game six of the first round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs against the New York Knicks at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Paul Pierce will play his final game in a building he called home while creating countless memories for 15 years (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today)

History won’t only be taking place in Houston’s NRG Stadium on Sunday.

Nearly 2,000 miles away from Super Bowl LI, the purest scorer in Celtics history will play his last game in Boston. 

Paul Pierce, who plans to retire after this season, will give Celtics fans one final performance on his beloved parquet when the Clippers visit TD Garden in a pre-Super Bowl matinee at 2 p.m.

Although it’s been nearly four years since Pierce donned a Celtics uniform, his contributions to the city and organization feel fresh. Fifteen years and one unforgettable title ensure him of immortality.

Celtics legends Larry Bird and John Havlicek often headline discussions of the franchise’s best pure scorer, but was there a more dynamic offensive force than Pierce? He could score at a high rate in every way imaginable.

Pierce could take his defender to the rim, score from the mid-range, hit 3’s, and make shots with victory on the line, as his dozen-plus game-winners prove. The 10-time All-Star was an offensive assassin. And his career numbers back it up. 

Not only does he lead the Celtics in most 3-pointers and free-throws made but in both statistical categories, he’s top-10 in NBA history. Only three NBA players have drained more 3-pointers than Pierce (2,137) and he’s eighth in free-throws made (6,916).

He enters Sunday’s game as the 16th leading scorer in league history with 26,361 career points, fittingly, right behind Celtics legend Havlicek (26,395), who is 15th on the list. 

Pierce is not only the best pure scorer in Celtics history, he’s also one of the most gifted offensive talents in league history. Despite being overshadowed by great scorers throughout his prime, starting with Allen Iverson and Kobe Bryant in the early 2000s and ending with LeBron James today, Pierce eventually earned his place in their company. Unlike Bird and Havlicek, Pierce didn’t win right away. He entered the league in 1998 at the start of the post-Michael Jordan era and suffered through dizzying ups and downs before help arrived in the form of Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen, who helped Pierce win the franchise’s 17th title in 2008.

Pierce led the Celtics to the 2002 Eastern Conference Finals by outplaying Iverson and dropping 48 points on the 76ers in the decisive Game 5. He then produced the highlight of that postseason by carrying the Celtics all the way back from a 26-point deficit against the Nets with the greatest fourth-quarter comeback in playoff history.

It took six years for the Celtics to make another deep playoff run, but it proved worth the wait.

After averaging a career-high 26.8 points and shooting 47 percent from the floor in 2005-06, Pierce and the Celtics struggled through a miserable 24-win 2006-07. But everything changed when Danny Ainge acquired Allen and Garnett that summer, giving Pierce the help he needed to prove his name belonged alongside guys like Bryant and James. 

Pierce led the Celtics past the Cavaliers that postseason by surpassing James in a classic Game 7 duel. Pierce finished with 41 points and eventually pushed the C’s to the Finals, where he wrote another chapter in the Celtics-Lakers rivalry. He then cemented his place in Celtics history by beating Bryant, being named Finals MVP, and finally leading the Celtics to banner No. 17.

At that moment, he might’ve been the best basketball player in the world. The summer after winning it all, he was asked if he’d name Bryant the best player in the league.

“I don’t think Kobe is the best player,” Pierce replied confidently. “I’m the best player.”

Pierce’s confidence made him great, but so did the chip he carried on his shoulder after dropping to 10th in the ’98 draft, behind forgettable players like Michael Olowokandi, Tractor Traylor, and Larry Hughes. In fact, it fueled him.

It’s amazing to consider what Pierce didn’t accomplish in his career. He never made first-team All-NBA, he never started an All-Star Game, and he never finished higher than seventh in the MVP voting. But his achievements far outstrip those snubs.

He honed an offensive game that defeated the two greatest players of his generation in the same postseason. His textbook footwork and fade-away step back, combined with a clutch jumper, left him in rarefied air.

There’s only two Celtics who compare as scorers, and even accepting that Havlicek and Bird played in different eras, Pierce’s game still stands out for its diversity. Havlicek played before 3-pointers, and even when Bird was considered the best long-range shooter in the league, the 3 wasn’t the weapon that it is today.

Pierce may not be the best player in Celtics history, but the fact that he’s even in the conversation for best all-around scorer speaks volumes. His Celtics tenure hit some rocky patches — like when he regrettably left the floor in 2005 after being eliminated by the Pacers with gauze wrapped around his head — but he remained committed to returning the Green to glory, a promise he eventually delivered.

He was an unforgettable talent, which is why Sunday’s farewell will be a memorable one.

Blog Author: 
Josue Pavon

Feb 10, 2016; Boston, MA, USA; Los Angeles Clippers forward Paul Pierce (34) shoots against Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas (4) in the first quarter at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Paul Pierce acknowledges Isaiah Thomas as one of the league’s great scorers (David Butler II/USA Today)

Celtics All-Star Isaiah Thomas found out on Friday that a future Hall of Famer thinks the 5-foot-9 guard has what it takes to win an NBA title.

In a recent one-on-one interview with Boston Globe’s Adam Himmelsbach, Paul Pierce commented on this season’s Celtics team and called Thomas a “championship-type player.” The former Celtics captain said that he believes that Thomas, along with the intelligence and guidance of head coach Brad Stevens, have a chance to compete for a championship one day. 

A smile stretched across Thomas’ face when he found out what the Celtics legend had to say about him. 

“I didn’t know that,” Thomas said. “That means everything. From a first-ballot Hall of Famer, a Celtics legend, to say that about me, that means a lot. Like I always say, I don’t care what anybody says but my peers and the people who did it before me. For a guy like that to say that, that’s crazy.”

In light of Pierce playing his final game at TD Garden on Sunday, Thomas added: 

“I’m going to try to find his jersey, so I can get it signed.”

After a 38-point performance in Friday’s win over the Lakers, Thomas is now averaging 29.9 points per game, less than one point away from Russell Westbrook’s league-leading 30.8 point average. 

The last Celtics player to finish a season averaging 29.9 points per game was Larry Bird back in the 1987-88 season. 

Blog Author: 
Josue Pavon

Feb 3, 2017; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens reacts during the first half against the Los Angeles Lakers at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Celtics coach Brad Stevens becomes the first Celtics coach to earn the right to coach the Eastern Conference All-Stars since 2011 (Bob DeChiara/USA Today)

After clinching the second-best record in the East, Celtics coach Brad Stevens and his coaching staff have earned the right to coach the Eastern Conference All-Star team. 

The Celtics’ 113-107 win over the Lakers put them 2.5 games ahead of the Wizards, while only two games separate the C’s from first place. Stevens becomes the sixth Celtics coach to ever coach the Eastern All-Star team, the first since Doc Rivers’ coaching staff in 2011. 

Although Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue, who holds the best record in the Eastern Conference, should be coaching the Eastern All-Stars, he couldn’t because of the NBA rule that disallows coaches to make back-to-back appearances at All-Star games. 

The Celtics held onto the second-best record in the East before the deciding Feb. 5 deadline.

“It should be Ty Lue,” Stevens said. “But the way the rules work then it’s the next-best record because he did it last year. 

“But what’s nice about it is, there’s no politics in it. There’s no subjectivity. It’s what your team has accomplished. And that’s a credit to the players in the locker room. You know, it’s almost a little bit, I almost, feel bad that I’m the one that’s going. I’d rather have another one or two of those guys (the players) playing in it. But our staff will really enjoy it, and our staff’s kids will really enjoy it. And we’ll go from there.”

Stevens was quick to credit his players for putting him in a position to succeed and explained how it takes hard work from talented guys in order for a coach to be successful. 

“I think none of us (coaches) are crazy enough to think you get there without really good players, and the players certainly carry the coaches,” Stevens explained. “That’s been the way it’s always been. But with regard to the staff, I think our staff works really hard. I’ve said before that I’ve tried to prioritize hiring humble, hardworking and intelligent people. And they come every day, they work really hard, they do a lot behind the scenes, they put in a lot of time and effort, and so it’s nice that they’re going to be a part of that as well.”

The 2017 All-Star game will be played on Feb. 19 in New Orleans. 

Blog Author: 
Josue Pavon

The Boston Celtics now have the most wins in NBA history.

In a showdown between two of the league’s most storied franchises, the Celtics defeated the Lakers, 113-107 and set the NBA team record for most cumulative regular-season wins. 

Isaiah Thomas

Isaiah Thomas

The Boston Celtics now have the most wins in NBA history.

In a showdown between two of the league’s most storied franchises, the Celtics defeated the Lakers, 113-107 and set the NBA team record for most cumulative regular-season wins. 

Both teams entered Friday’s contest at TD Garden tied at 3,252 all-time regular-season victories before Isaiah Thomas and the Celtics fended off their opponent in the final frame and improved to 32-18. Thomas finished with a game-high 38 points and poured in 17 fourth-quarter points to push the Celtics to their sixth consecutive win. 

With 3:50 left, the Lakers pulled to within seven points (101-94) and gave up a golden opportunity to make it a four-point game after the C’s surrendered three offensive rebounds. Boston allowed Louis Williams and D’Angelo Russell each take turns jacking up four straight 3-pointers until Al Horford finally pulled down a defensive rebound — which led to Thomas scoring four straight points.

From there, the Celtics held on.

Jae Crowder finished with 18 points and Jaylen Brown added 12 points to go with his 7 rebounds while Horford flirted with a triple-double (11 points, 8 rebounds, 8 assists). 

Williams (21) and Russell (20) combined for 41 points and Larry Nance Jr. added 18 points. 

For a complete box score, click here.

After Terry Rozier knocked in a buzzer-beating 3-pointer at the end of the first quarter, the Celtics picked up their offensive momentum and kicked off the second quarter hitting nine of their first 11 attempts, including all 10 of Jaylen Brown’s first-half points. The C’s outscored their opponent, 33-21 in the frame and took a 62-51 lead into halftime.

Midway through the third quarter, the Celtics went on a 12-2 run and grabbed a 17-point advantage — their biggest lead of the night. However, the Lakers had no response for Thomas’ 17 points as the league’s second-leading scorer continues his offensive hot streak by scoring 30-plus points for the fourth straight game.

With the win, Celtics coach Brad Stevens is officially the head coach of the Eastern Conference All-Star team. Although Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue has led his team to the best record in the east he cannot coach the All-Star team in back-to-back years due to the “Pat Riley Rule.” Therefore, the coach with the second-best record is given the honor.

The rule was named after former Lakers head coach Pat Riley, who earned the right to coach the Western Conference team eight times in nine seasons between 1982 and 1990.

Blog Author: 
Josue Pavon

Feb 1, 2017; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas (4) celebrates during the fourth quarter against the Toronto Raptors at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Isaiah Thomas is the first Celtics player since Paul Pierce to win the Eastern Conference Player of the Month (Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports)

This month, Isaiah Thomas made the decision easy for the NBA. 

After putting together one of the greatest scoring months in franchise history, Thomas was named the Eastern Conference Player of the Month on Thursday.

Leading the Celtics to a 10-4 record, Thomas averaged 32.9 points and 6.9 assists throughout the month of January and is now the first Celtics player since Paul Pierce (March of 2012) to take home the award.

In light of Wednesday’s 44-point performance, Thomas also stretched his streak of scoring 20 or more points to 33 consecutive games. 

He’s also been invited to participate in All-Star Saturday night’s Skills Challenge. Thomas will compete against a combination of guards and big men including Anthony Davis, DeMarcus Cousins, Gordon Hayward, John Wall, Devin Booker, Kristaps Porzingis and Joel Embiid on February 18 in New Orleans.

Blog Author: 
Josue Pavon

The unsung heroes set the stage. And then Isaiah Thomas, as he seems to do on a nightly basis, danced on it.

Trailing by 18 points in a showdown with the Raptors for the second seed in the Eastern Conference, the Celtics closed the game on a monster 52-29 run behind 44 points from their All-Star point guard to complete a 109-104 victory.