• 72°

NBA: Pierce’s knee the main topic

Associated Press
BOSTON ó Paul Pierce’s dramatic return was compelling theater in the round(ball), one of those defining, Willis Reed-type moments.
Lakers coach Phil Jackson, who had front-row seats at both events, wasn’t so impressed.
“If I’m not mistaken,” a cynic and sarcastic Jackson said Friday, “I think Willis Reed missed a whole half and three quarters almost of a game and literally had to have a shot, a horse shot, three or four of them in his thigh to come back out and play. Paul got carried off and was back on his feet in a minute.”
Pierce, who had to be hoisted in his teammates’ arms and taken from the floor in excruciating pain, summoned his strength and returned to Game 1 of the NBA finals despite a sprained right knee and led the Boston Celtics to a 98-88 win in Game 1 of the NBA finals over Los Angeles.
Pierce’s gutty comeback ó to some ó drew immediate comparisons to a more famous one made by Reed, the Knicks center who dragged himself onto Madison Square Garden’s court for Game 7 of the 1970 finals against the Lakers despite a severe knee injury.
Jackson was there that night 38 years ago in New York. He was Reed’s teammate. And as far as Jackson is concerned, Pierce is no Willis Reed.
“I don’t know if the angels visited him in that timeout period that he had or not, but he didn’t even limp when he came back out on the floor, Jackson said. “I don’t know what was going on there. Was (well-known faith healer) Oral Roberts back there in their locker room?”
The NBA’s well-spaced schedule turned the talk before Game 2 on Sunday to miracle cures, conspiracy theories and MRIs. It also brought out some skepticism about the severity of Pierce’s injury, which initially looked as if it might trim Boston’s Big Three by a third.
Jackson’s doubts about Pierce’s injury ó he was out of the game for less than two minutes ó were relayed to Celtics coach Doc Rivers, who dismissed them with a smile.
“Oh, I don’t care,” Rivers said. “Aren’t we skeptics anyway now about everything? So what the heck; let it begin. Let it begin. Lee Harvey Oswald did it.”
Boston center Kevin Garnett wasn’t so amused by Jackson’s take on the injury to his good friend, the Celtics’ captain.
“It’s not up to them to approve or disapprove or to judge,” he said. “The man got carried off the court, that’s pretty significant. He looked pretty hurt, came in and finished the game off. I know it don’t look easy and he made it probably look a little easy, but at the same time, they wasn’t over there seeing him grimacing, the massaging and on the bike and ice and that stuff.
“When you don’t know what’s going on the other side, you just make up stuff.”
Pierce, who scored 22 points and made consecutive 3-pointers in the third quarter from the same spot to give Boston the lead for good, reported his knee was stiff and swollen and that he would spend the next two days getting treatment.
If not for the off day, Pierce said he would not have been able to play on Friday,
“I can walk on it, I can bend it, but there’s a little sharp pain on the inside of my knee,” he said.
Pierce said there was a “great chance” he’ll be able to play on Sunday when the Celtics attempt to take a 2-0 lead.

Comments

Comments closed.

Crime

One charged, another hospitalized in fight between cousins

Local

Bell Tower Green renamed to honor Stanbacks; Nancy Stanback receives key to city

Business

Commissioners green light additional houses at Cherry Treesort in China Grove

Education

A.L. Brown will hold in-person, outdoor graduation

Local

Granite Quarry awards FEMA contract for Granite Lake Park

Local

City to vote on apartment developments, final phases of Grants Creek Greenway project

High School

High school football: North receiver McArthur a rising star

Columnists

Carl Blankenship: Pollen and prejudice make their return

News

Harris pitches $2.3T spending plan on trip to North Carolina

Nation/World

Murder case against ex-cop in Floyd’s death goes to the jury

Crime

Sheriff’s office: Man takes deputies on chase with stolen moped

Coronavirus

Afternoon, evening COVID-19 vaccination clinic planned Thursday

Crime

Concord man charged with woman’s murder in drive-by shooting

Ask Us

Ask Us: Have city, county elected officials received COVID-19 vaccine?

Local

City gives away nearly 100 trees during ‘We Dig Salisbury’ event

Local

Political Notebook: Bitzer expects most ‘Trump-like’ candidate to be favorite in state’s Senate race

Crime

Blotter: Concord man arrested in Rowan for indecent liberties with children

Coronavirus

Half of US adults have received at least one COVID-19 shot

Nation/World

Police: FedEx shooter legally bought guns used in shooting

News

Hester Ford, oldest living American, dies at 115 … or 116?

Local

Size of pipeline spill again underestimated in North Carolina

BREAKING NEWS

Kannapolis Police searching for suspect who fled scene of homicide

Education

RSS superintendent talks district’s future, strategic plan survey

News

Complaints and fines pile up against unpermitted landfill in southwest Rowan County