May 18, 2008 -- Paul Pierce racked up the second most Game 7 points in franchise history on Sunday with 41 as the Celtics edged the Cavaliers to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals.

Pierce's extraordinary scoring performance countered LeBron James'. LeBron recorded 45 to keep Cleveland afloat throughout the decisive contest.

The classic showdown between Pierce and LeBron was very reminiscent of when Sam Jones (47 points) outdueled Oscar Robertson (43) in Game 7 of the 1963 East Finals and when Larry Bird (34) went toe-to-toe with Dominique Wilkins (47) in Game 7 of the 1988 Eastern Conference Semifinals.

The following chart lists the top Game 7 scoring efforts in Celtics history.

Sam Jones 47Cincinnati 4/10/1963
Paul Pierce 41Cleveland 5/18/2008
Larry Bird 39New York 5/13/1984
Larry Bird 37Detroit 5/30/1987
Sam Jones 37Philadelphia 4/15/1965
Tom Heinsohn 37St. Louis 4/13/1957

The following chart lists the most combined points Game 7.
Sam Jones (47 pts)/Oscar Robertson (43 pts) 90Eastern Conference Finals, Celtics 142, Royals 131 4/10/1963
LeBron James (45 pts)/Paul Pierce (41 pts) 86Eastern Conference Semis, Celtics 97, Cavaliers 92 5/18/2008
Dominique Wilkins (47 pts)/Larry Bird (34 pts) 81Eastern Conference Semis, Celtics 118, Hawks 116 5/22/1988
George Gervin (42 pts)/Bob Dandridge (37 pts) 79Eastern Conference Finals, Bullets 107, Spurs 105 5/18/1979