Paul Pierce  asked for the match up and he got it.
With just under 7:30 to go in the first quarter, Pierce drove the lane against Ron Artest . Artest welcomed him at the basket with a blow to the shoulder. No foul was called and the Rockets scored on the fastbreak. Artest pumped his chest as Eddie House  and Kendrick Perkins  rose to their feet on the Celtics  bench to vocalize their disagreement with the no-call.
Moments later, Garnett blocked a Rockets shot that sent the crowd into a frenzy. The noise escalated when Artest dealt a hard foul to Ray Allen  that sent the Celtics guard sliding into the front row.
Pierce has left the game with a bruised right shoulder but is expected to return.
All this tension and there is still five minutes to go in the first quarter.