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Pierce on his return: ‘This is perfect timing’

WALTHAM — Paul Pierce [1] practiced on Monday and said afterward he is ready to go for the team’s game in Detroit on Tuesday after missing the last three games with a sprained right thumb.

“I would have been back for the Cleveland game, please believe me, as much as I love to play against Cleveland, as much as I love to play against LeBron,” Pierce said. “I even went out there and shot before the Cleveland game because I wanted to be out there so bad. I don’t think I’m rushing back. I think this is perfect timing. My body feels good, my hand feels good and I’m ready to go.”

The Celtics [2] won their first game without Pierce against New York last Tuesday before dropping home games to Cleveland and New Jersey.