|Battle Brewing in Manchester||10.11.08 at 4:57 pm ET|
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.
|Pierce Eager to Play against Artest||at 4:49 pm ET|
At some point tonight Paul Pierce was led to believe that he wasn’t going to play against the Houston
Rockets. He had just worked up a sweat shooting around and was ready to go. Pierce muttered his frustrations as he hit the floor for push ups.
He didn’t just want to play basketball – he wanted to take on Ron Artest.
“I always want to play against Ron Artest,” Pierce said. “I think we both bring out the best in each other. I think he’s the best perimeter defender in the league.”
Turns out Pierce will play tonight, and more than he did on Friday against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Doc Rivers expects the Big Three to play solid minutes in both halves, given that the team has the day off tomorrow.