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The captain comes through

06.14.10 at 2:53 am ET
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On a night when Kobe Bryant scored 38 points, Paul Pierce had his own breakout performance with 27, including 11 in the third quarter, which helped offset Bryant’s 19. That was only a part of Pierce’s night.

“Paul was terrific,” Doc Rivers said. “He attacked all night. He did it through the offense, he did it through [isolation plays], he did it in pick and rolls, he made big shots for us.”

Pierce’s biggest play didn’t come on a shot, however. It was on a pass to Rajon Rondo for a layup off a long inbound play from Kevin Garnett.

“I was just showing off my Randy Moss and Tom Brady in one play, that’s all,” Pierce said. “Going up to catch it, then I went to my Brady mode when I was falling out of bounds to find Rondo on the receiving end.”

Pierce could afford to joke after the fact, but he admitted he was a little nervous when Rondo went in for the layup. The two had an eventful night. At the end of the first half, Pierce essentially walked away from a play after Rondo didn’t get him the ball.

“Oh, it was nothing,” Pierce said. The two talked it over at halftime and went about their business in the third quarter, which for Pierce meant providing an answer for Bryant’s scoring.

“I wasn’t in a personal duel with [Bryant],” Pierce said. “I really didn’t even take notice that we were going, I guess, back and forth at the time. He makes tough shots and he’s a proven winner. I’m not in a one-on-one deal with Kobe at all.”

Things just seem to happen to Pierce during the finals. He was overheard saying late in Game 2 that the Celtics weren’t going back to Los Angeles, but here they are, and Pierce will have an opportunity to win a title in his hometown.

“It hasn’t crossed [my mind],” Pierce said. “That would be great. I’m not going to jinx it right now. We’ve got to win one game, that’s the goal. But it would be amazing if we get it done.”

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