Paul Pierce knows where the blame lies for the Boston Celtics losing to the Philadelphia 76ers in game seven of the 2002 NBA finals, the game that cost Pierce his title as the best player in the league. But could he do anything about it?
On Tuesday, the Los Angeles Clippers lost a game. It was a tough loss, and not just because the Clippers lost to the Utah Jazz, just one game after they made the biggest comeback in NBA playoff history. No, it was a tough loss because of the circumstances surrounding it.
After being named to the All-NBA First Team for the 2014-15 season, Paul Pierce was expected to be a future Hall of Famer. But after a disappointing season in which Pierce only averaged 10.3 points per game (the lowest scoring average of his career since his rookie year), he was traded to the Celtics and subsequently retired.
Paul Pierce had a remarkable career with the Boston Celtics, spending the most of it with them. As a result, he’s been in a number of major games throughout the years, winning some and losing others. Pierce, on the other hand, has yet to see one of his most heartbreaking losses: Game 7 of the 2010 NBA Finals between the Celtics and the Lakers.
In Game 7 of the 2010 NBA Finals, Paul Pierce and the Celtics played the Lakers.
When Pierce and the Celtics beat the Los Angeles Lakers 4-2 in the NBA Finals in 2008, they had just won an NBA championship. The two teams met in the finals again in 2010, with the Lakers hoping to repeat as champions after winning in 2009, and the Celtics hoping to capture their second title in three seasons.
Throughout the series, the clubs traded leads, with LA taking a 2-1 lead after three games and Boston taking a 3-2 lead after Game 5. However, the teams met at Staples Center for Games 6 and 7, with the Lakers winning Game 6 89-67 to square the series at 3-3.
Game 7, on the other hand, was a nail-biter from start to finish. Boston led 40-34 at halftime and 57-53 at the conclusion of the third quarter, but the Lakers and Celtics were knotted 64-64 with 6 minutes, 12 seconds remaining.
Metta World Peace hit a 3-pointer with one minute and one second remaining in the game, putting the Lakers ahead 79-73. After then, it was a free-throw game for the Lakers, who prevailed 83-79 to win the championship.
With 23 points and 15 rebounds, Kobe Bryant led the Lakers, while Pierce led the Celtics with 18 points and 10 rebounds.
Paul Pierce has yet to see the Celtics’ Game 7 defeat.
On June 17, 2010, Paul Pierce of the Boston Celtics faced the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 7 of the 2010 NBA Finals. Getty Images/Christian Petersen
Pierce recently appeared on Showtime’s What’s Burnin, when he spoke about the Celtics’ Game 7 defeat to the Lakers. Pierce still appears to be upset about it after more than a decade.
On the July 20 episode, Pierce stated, “We were up for the most of the game.” “Everyone is standing up in the fourth quarter. It was all a little weird, guy; nothing seemed genuine. I’m not sure how to describe it, but every shot you took seemed like something was on the line. I felt like it was almost like one of those halfcourt shots in an NBA game when you can win $10,000. If you miss, you’ll be in such a bad mood. So, in the fourth quarter of the finals, that’s every shot you take.”
“You just felt so sad every shot you missed,” he added. Then every shot you made was huge. I still haven’t seen the game, dude. That’s a difficult one. I’m supposed to be sitting on two chips right now. But that’s how the cookie crumbles on occasion.”
That Game 7 meant a lot to the 2010 Celtics and Lakers players.
When you consider all of the legacy that Game 7 left behind, it may be one of the most significant games in NBA history.
Bryant’s career would have ended with four titles instead of five if the Lakers had lost. Los Angeles would also only have 16 overall championships instead of the current NBA record of 17, which they share with the Celtics.
Pierce and Kevin Garnett would have ended their careers with two titles instead of one if the Celtics had won. Ray Allen would have finished his career with three championships, which is a lot better than two, and Boston would have an NBA-record 18 titles.
Guys like Bryant and Pierce, Garnett, and Allen would have made the Hall of Fame regardless of what occurred that night. All of their legacies, though, would be quite different if the Celtics had won Game 7 instead of the Lakers.
Basketball Reference provided the statistics.
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As the Boston Celtics prepare to face the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday night, Paul Pierce has taken to Twitter to open up about the team’s loss to the Dallas Mavericks in the 2011 NBA Finals.. Read more about paul pierce stats and let us know what you think.
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