Basketball

Celtics give former star Pierce emotional farewell

Retiring NBA star Paul Pierce made an emotional farewell appearance in Boston yesterday morning (Singapore time), sinking the final basket for the Los Angeles Clippers in their 107-102 loss to the Celtics.

Pierce, a 10-time NBA All-Star, played 15 seasons for the Celtics and was the 2008 NBA Finals Most Valuable Player in leading Boston to the title.

The 39-year-old forward kissed the middle of the Boston Garden court before making a rare start for the Clippers, playing the first five minutes as the Celtics seized a 15-6 lead.

Pierce shed tears from the bench as the crowd gave him a standing ovation during a video display, with fans chanting "We Want Paul" and "Thank You Paul" much of the second half.

Their screams were rewarded when Clippers coach Doc Rivers called upon Pierce with 20 seconds remaining and he responded by making a three-pointer, extending his run of having never gone scoreless in Boston.

"I'm thankful he gave me that opportunity and that I got out here and made a bucket," Pierce said. "Truly great to play for the best fans in the world for 15 years and they showed it tonight. They just showered me with love."

Pierce, second on the Celtics' all-time scoring list, has averaged 20.0 points, 5.7 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 1.3 steals a game in his 18-year NBA career, including stops in Brooklyn and Washington as well as LA.

But nowhere loves him more than Boston.

"I've been enjoying every moment of it," Pierce said.

"It's great to come in here one last time and get all this attention." - AFP


OTHER RESULTS

  • Oklahoma City 105 Portland 99
  • Brooklyn 95 Toronto 103
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