Pierce helps short-handed Celtics hold off WizardsJan 23, 2012 - 12:07 AM Washington, DC (Sports Network) - Paul Pierce led the short-handed Celtics with a season-high 34 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds, as Boston held off a late charge from the Washington Wizards to win, 100-94, at the Verizon Center.
Kevin Garnett added 17 points for the Celtics, who notched their sixth victory of the season and won for the second time in their last three games. They played without point guard Rajon Rondo because of a right wrist injury, and lost shooting guard Ray Allen to a left ankle injury in the second quarter.
"It's going to take a number of guys stepping up for us to grind out these wins," said Pierce about the injuries to Rondo and Allen.
John Wall anchored Washington's scoring attack with 27 points, while adding 10 boards and seven assists. However, the Wizards have lost six of their last seven games.
Boston seemed to have the game in hand in the third quarter until Pierce picked up his fourth foul with 4:26 to go, with Boston leading 63-57.
The Celtics' offense became stagnant without Pierce and the Wizards were able to claw their way back. Wall threw a half-court alley-oop to Trevor Booker to tie the game 75-75 early in the fourth quarter.
Pierce re-entered the game and scored Boston's next 10 points. He added a layup with less than 3 1/2 minutes remaining to give the Celtics a 93-86 edge.
The Wizards were able to pull within three, but a Garnett dunk with 1:57 to play helped seal the deal for the Celtics.
"We got to the point where we're competing at a high level. Now we have to find a way to close out these games like we closed out Oklahoma City," said Wizards coach Flip Saunders about his team's effort.
Washington held a 21-20 lead after a back-and-forth first quarter.
Pierce put the Celtics on his back after the Allen injury, ripping off seven straight points late in the second to give his team a 40-32 lead. The Celtics finished the half on a 7-0 run, capped by a Mickael Pietrus trey from the corner to give the visitors a 49-40 lead.
The Celtics began the second half much the way they finished the first, going on an 8-0 run to extend their lead to 59-44. The Wizards again had an answer for the Celtics, putting up an 8-0 run of their own led by six points from JaVale McGee to cut the Boston lead to 63-57.
Garnett moved into 22nd place all-time in games played passing Dale Ellis with 1,210...The Celtics are now 3-0 against the Wizards this season...Wall set a season high with 10 rebounds and went 9-9 from the foul line...McGee finished with 13 points and three blocked shots.
- BOSTON: 100
Jan 22 3:34 PM
- BOSTON: 73
End of 3rd
Jan 22 2:52 PM
- BOSTON: 49
Jan 22 2:13 PM
- BOSTON: 20
End of 1st
Jan 22 1:37 PM
- BOSTON: 0
1st Quarter - 12:00
Jan 22 1:12 PM
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