This day is a landmark in Boston Celtics basketball history. Paul Pierce, the Celtics’ champion forward, scored 42 points in a 108-199 win at Fleet Center (now TD Garden) against the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2002. He was also a future Banner 17 teammate, fellow Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer Kevin Garnett.
The Celtics improved to 17 wins and 9 losses for the 2002-03 season with the win, with Pierce’s full stat line being 42 points, 14 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 steals, and a block for the contest. Inglewood native Pierce would be 11-for-25 on the floor that night, including 4-of-8 beyond the arc.
Pierce took just under 45 minutes to complete 16 of his 18 free throws.
(AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
“There’s not much I can say about my shooting lately,” said Pierce via ESPNHe had only shot 2-of-20 from deep during five previous contests.
“It’s a little drought I’m going through, but I’ve just got to keep shooting,” he added. “I was just aggressive tonight and wanted to get to the line.”
(AP Photo/Carol Francavilla)
It’s also the day that Larry Bird, the legendary Celtic forward, scored 40 points against the Utah Jazz in a 113-109 victory in 1989.
Bird’s full stat line was 40 points, 8 boards, 5 assists, and 2 steals on 16-of-30 shooting, including 1-of-2 from 3. Larry Legend made 7 free throws during his 41-minute playing time.
This is also the day that Celtics’ guard Saul Mariaschin, who died in 1990, was born. Born in 1924, Mariaschin played collegiately for Harvard before joining the Celtics for 43 games of the ball club’s second season of 1947-48.
The 5-foot-11 Navy veteran would average 7.7 points and 1.4 assists per game in a reserve role with Boston over that stretch — rest in peace.
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