Paul Pierce's Top Career Performances in Green

Paul Pierce played in 1,272 regular season and playoff games during his 15 seasons in Boston. Along the way, he produced countless, epic performances that helped him solidify his status as a Celtics Legend.

In preparation for Pierce’s jersey retirement ceremony Sunday afternoon, we’ve dug through his entire Celtics game log and have picked out the most impressive performances of his illustrious career. Here are the top 5 efforts that The Truth produced while playing in a green and white uniform…


5. Feb. 15, 2006 vs. Cleveland

MIN FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A +/- OREB DREB REB AST PF ST TO BS PTS
54 17-36 0-4 16-20 -1 0 7 7 8 6 0 4 0 50

Here's what happened...

Pierce added his name to an elite list Feb. 15, 2006, when he dropped a career-high 50 points against the Cleveland Cavaliers at TD Garden. He joined Celtics legends Larry Bird, Sam Jones and Kevin McHale as the only players in franchise history to drop at least a half-century's worth of points during a single game. Pierce connected on 17-of-36 shots from the field and converted 16-of-20 free-throw attempts during what would be the only 50-spot of his entire career. His incredible scoring performances included 17 points during the fourth quarter alone, as he was able to help the C's force overtime, and eventually push them into a second overtime period. Pierce tied a career-high by logging 54 minutes, and he would have played more had he not fouled out with one minute left in the second OT. Without their leader on the court, the C's were outscored 5-2 during the final minute, as LeBron James (43 points, 12 rebounds, 11 assists, four blocks, two) and the Cavs walked away with a 113-109 win.


4. April 19, 2003 at Indiana

MIN FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A +/- OREB DREB REB AST PF ST TO BS PTS
45 8-24 3-5 21-21 +4 2 9 11 6 5 4 2 1 40

Here's what happened...

Game 1 of the first round of the 2003 Playoffs did not start off well for Pierce. He shot just 4-of-19 from the field during the first three quarters against the Indiana Pacers, and his Celtics entered the final frame at Conseco Fieldhouse facing a 10-point deficit. So, how did this end up being one of the best games of Pierce's career? It was all about how he finished. The Truth logged 21 of his game-high 40 points during the fourth quarter, while missing just one shot attempt from the field. He also went a perfect 10-of-10 from the free-throw line, establishing an NBA record for most free-throw makes during any quarter of a playoff game. Pierce scored nine points during the last 40 seconds alone, as he propelled the C's to a 103-100 comeback win that helped set the tone for a 4-2 series victory.


3. Dec. 19, 2012 vs. Cleveland

MIN FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A +/- OREB DREB REB AST PF ST TO BS PTS
34 13-16 6-7 8-8 +29 0 8 8 5 2 3 1 1 40

Here's what happened...

Pierce produced legendary performances from his rookie campaign all the way through his final Celtics season. His most efficient effort came during his 15th and final season in green during a mid-December matchup against the Cavaliers. A 35-year-old Pierce found the bottom of the net a total of 21 times over the course of the contest, while missing his target only three times. He shot 13-of-16 from the field, including 6-of-7 from 3-point range, and knocked down all eight of his free-throw attempts for a season-high 40 points. Pierce rounded out the effort by grabbing eight rebounds, dishing out five assists and snagging three steals to lead the C's to a 103-91 win over a Kyrie Irving-led Cavs squad.


2. May 18, 2008 vs. Cleveland

MIN FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A +/- OREB DREB REB AST PF ST TO BS PTS
44 13-23 4-6 11-12 +10 1 3 4 5 4 2 4 0 41

Here's what happened...

Pierce and LeBron James had one of the greatest rivalries in basketball from the mid- 2000s to the early-2010s. The rivalry reached its apex on May 18, 2008 in what may go down in as the greatest individual Game 7 showdown in NBA history. The two small forwards traded buckets for the entire Eastern Conference Semifinals finale, as Pierce scored 41 points while James tallied 45 of his own. James had the slight statistical edge; however, Pierce was the one who came through in the clutch. The Celtics held a slim, one-point lead heading into the final two minutes of regulation, but James couldn't get his Cavs over the hump as he missed all three of his shot attempts during that span. Pierce, meanwhile, made a couple of clutch plays to seal the game. With a minute remaining and Boston up three, The Truth out-hustled The King for a loose ball, diving on the floor to gain possession, before calling for a timeout. He later sunk a pair of clutch free throws to help secure a 97-92 win, which launched the Celtics into the Eastern Conference Finals and helped pave the way for its eventual NBA title.


1. May 3, 2002 vs. Philadelphia

MIN FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A +/- OREB DREB REB AST PF ST TO BS PTS
44 16-25 8-10 6-7 +27 1 3 4 6 1 1 0 1 46

Here's what happened...

Paul Pierce's epic win over James and the Cavs wasn't the first time he single-handedly clinched a playoff series for the Celtics, nor was it the most impressive such occasion. The greatest performance of Pierce's career came during the final game of his first-ever playoff series in what was a dominating effort from start to finish. The Celtics had opened up the first round of the 2002 Playoffs by securing two straight wins over the Philadelphia 76ers at TD Garden. Philly would bounce back on its home court, however, tying the series at 2-2, and sending it back to Boston for a win-or-go-home Game 5 finale. The game was expected to be a barnburner, but the Celtics blew the 76ers out of the water with a 33-point victory. That was all thanks Pierce's 46-point outpour, which would end up being the highest-scoring effort of his storied postseason career. The Truth knocked down a career-best eight 3-pointers on 10 attempts, and also logged six assists and four rebounds, all while not turning the ball over a single time. His near-perfect effort secured a 120-87 victory, as he clinched his first postseason series win while putting on the show of his career.