Posted March 26, 2012 on AP on Fox
Paul Pierce has put the Boston Celtics on his shoulders and carried them through some tough times - all the way into a tie for first place. With the Celtics battling a series of injuries and playing without Ray Allen, Pierce has been on a scoring tear. And he didn't let up Monday night. Pierce scored a season-high 36 points and the Celtics held on to beat the Charlotte Bobcats 102-95 to move into a share of the Atlantic Division lead with the Philadelphia 76ers. Both teams are 27-22 with 17 regular-season games remaining, although the 76ers own the head-to-head tiebreaker. Pierce said taking on a bigger burden of scoring doesn't bother him at all. ''I think I've been feeling that way for the past couple of weeks now as far as needing to be more aggressive when I have the opportunities within the flow of the offense,'' Pierce said. Pierce shot 10 of 20 from the field, made 15 of 18 free throws and added 10 rebounds and four assists. He has scored 20 or more points in five of the past six games and is averaging 22.4 points during March. ''I wanted to be aggressive and just saw lanes tonight and I just wanted to mix it up between driving to the hole and hitting jump shots,'' Pierce said. ''My teammates set me up with a lot of down screens and pick-and-rolls that enabled me to get into the lane.'' Celtics coach Doc Rivers said Pierce played in ''attack mode'' right from the opening tip. Pierce had 17 points in the first half. ''We like to post him up a little more than we were doing,'' Rivers said. Kevin Garnett had 24 points for the Celtics. Rivers said he didn't mention to his team about moving into a tie for first place. ''For us we have to keep plugging along and keep playing,'' Rivers said. ''It is important, but we've still got some games left. Since the All-Star break we haven't played well every night but we're winning some of the games where we don't play well.'' Gerald Henderson had 21 points for the Bobcats (7-40), who have lost six of their past seven and remain the only team in the NBA with fewer than 10 wins. Charlotte's bench outscored the Celtics 59-9, led by 18 points from Byron Mullens and 16 from Derrick Brown. Despite the loss, Bobcats coach Paul Silas was pleased with his team's play. ''We competed and this is the way it's going to be from here on out,'' Silas said. ''I told our guys prior to the game that we have to run, we have to push the ball up and we have to finish - and we did. We had lob passes that we hadn't had before and this is the way we're going to play. We're going to give ourselves a chance to win.'' Boston seemed poised to put this one away early. With the game tied at 13, the Celtics went on a 14-0 run with Pierce, Garnett and Rajon Rondo combining for 12 points - most of those coming inside the paint. They stretched the lead to 33-15 by the end of the first quarter, taking advantage of the Bobcats' inability to score. Charlotte shot 29 percent from the field and didn't hit a field goal in the final 6:47 of the first quarter. But Charlotte showed some fight, pulling to 52-50 at halftime as Mullens and Reggie Williams began to heat up from the outside. The Bobcats shot 65 percent in the second quarter and scored 35 points to get back in the game. ''They got back in the game because of their bench,'' Pierce said. ''They came in and played with a lot of energy. I don't know that we were expecting that much from their bench.'' Rivers wasn't happy about the second quarter, although he didn't blast his team at halftime. ''I didn't feel like I had to address it,'' Rivers said. ''If we're a quote-unquote defensive team then we have to be better than that.'' Boston led by as many as 12 in the second half but the Bobcats stayed close, closing the gap to four down the stretch. However, Pierce scored on a pretty crosscourt feed from Rondo and Garnett knocked down a jumper from the top of the key to seal the victory. NOTES: Silas picked up a technical foul during the first quarter, giving him seven on the season - one behind Rivers, the league leader. ... Brown handed out a career-high seven assists for the Bobcats. ... Rondo finished with 13 assists, marking the 25th time this season he's had double digits.

Your Morning Dump... Where Pierce is still getting it done

Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here... highlighting the big storyline. Because there's nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump. One season after shooting nearly 50 percent from the floor (thriving in large part behind his familiar midrange game), Pierce entered Monday's game shooting a mere 35.8 percent (161-for-449) from beyond...

Paul Pierce's 36 leads Celtics past Bobcats: 102-95

Paul Pierce scored a game high 36 points (15/18 from the free throw line) and added 10 rebounds for a double double in a 102-95 road victory over the Charlotte Bobcats (7-40). Against a better team the Boston Celtics might've lost, but a win is a win and this win has the Celtics (27-22) tied with the Philadelphia 76ers atop the Atlantic Division. Boston built an 18 point lead...

Recap: Pierce, KG get aggressive in win over Bobcats

  Led by a super-aggressive Paul Pierce, the Celtics beat the Bobcats tonight, 102-95. Pierce (36 points, 15-18 FT, 10 rebounds, 3 steals, 3 blocks) played his best game of the season. He attacked the basket relentlessly.  Kevin Garnett (24 points, 10-20 FG) was also assertive with his offense. My favorite play of this game was Garnett's fake, drive and power dunk midway...

Celtics 102, Bobcats 95: Paul Pierce still has it

The Charlotte bench outscored the Boston bench by 50 points (59-9), but the Celtics still held on for a victory behind Paul Pierce’s season-high 36 big ones. Boston is now tied with Philadelphia for first in the Atlantic Division. I had work and still haven’t caught up to the game, but Kevin Garnett’s dunk was fun.

Bobcats beaten by Pierce's season-high 36

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- Paul Pierce scored a season-high 36 points and the Boston Celtics held on to beat the Charlotte Bobcats 102-95 Monday night to move into a first-place tie with Philadelphia 76ers in the Atlantic Division. Pierce shot 10 of 20 from the field, made 15 of 18 free throws and added 10 rebounds and four assists. Pierce has scored 20 or more points in five of the...

Paul Pierce Revels in Rugged Style in Ugly Win Over Bobcats

As the owners of the worst record and the largest negative point differential in the NBA, the Bobcats will not win any beauty pageants with their style of play. Their method, if it can be called a "method," seems to fall somewhere between controlled chaos and just plain chaos. When the Bobcats closed within four points of the Celtics late in the fourth quarter of Monday...

How we see it goin' down: Celtics - Jazz

Tip: 7:30 PM     Court: TD Garden   Watch it: CSN  Hear it: WEEI                            Referees:  Eddie F. Rush, Bennie Adams, James Williams  Get your tickets here The Matchup Record: 27-22 (2nd Atlantic, 7th East) Record: 27-23 (3rd Northwest, 7th West) At Home:  17-8 On the Road: 8-17 Streak: Won 2 ...

Celtics Take First Division Lead (sorta) With Win In Charlotte

The Celtics took home a victory tonight against the Charlotte Bobcats, 102-95. The Bobcats proved to be just as hapless and hopeless as advertised with really nobody worth mentioning on the team that stands out (except for DJ Augustine thanks to his Texas roots). The Celtics really just controlled this game completely with Paul Pierce [...]

Recap: C's beat Jazz, make it 3 in a row

I have not seen a better 1st half from the Boston Celtics in a long time. Everything was clicking; Rondo was driving and dishing, Pierce was attacking, KG was nailing jumpers and everyone was playing great defense. The C's held the Jazz to 37% from the field, and only turned the ball over 2 times. Rondo and Ryan Hollins connected on 2 alley-oops, and the C's went into...

How we see it goin' down: Celtics - Bobcats

Tip: 7:00 PM     Court: Time Warner Cable arena   Watch it: CSN  Hear it: WEEI                            Referees:  Monty McCutchen, Kevin Scott, Sean Wright  Get your tickets here The Matchup Record: 26-22 (2nd Atlantic, 7th East) Record: 7-39 (5th Southeast, 15th East) On the road: 9-14 At Home: 4-17 Streak...

Taking Stock: Celtics - Bobcats

After every game, we'll take stock of how each individual performance affects the player's overall value. Starters Rajon Rondo:  This has become his typical game now.  Single-digit points and big assists.  13 assists is awesome, and the 1-7 shooting is misleading because he was forced to take a few shots as the shot clock wound down.  His 6 rebounds were also...

Celtics 88, Wizards 76

Avery Bradley scored a career-high 23 points, and Paul Pierce added 21 points and eight rebounds for the short-handed Boston Celtics in an 88-76 win over the Washington Wizards on Sunday night. Boston was without guards Ray Allen (ankle) and Mickael Pietrus (head injury) but still had plenty to hold off the struggling Wizards. Rajon Rondo had 11 assists, while Kevin Garnett finished...

Fiddlin' & Diddlin' - Daily Links 3/27

Herald   Bottoms up for Celtics Doc Rivers’s kid eyes NBA Danny Granger scores 25 as Pacers beat Heat 105-90 Cold front returns as Bucks fall to Knicks Bulls suffer most lopsided loss of season Paul Pierce scores 36 as Celtics beat Bobcats 102-95 Austin Rivers chooses NBA; Pietrus resting at home Globe  Final: Celtics 102, Bobcats 95 Rivers runs through son’s decision...
NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.