Paul Pierce said last night that his return to Boston was the "toughest game I ever had to play" after his Brooklyn Nets team defeated the Celtics 85-79.
Pierce spent 15 years in Boston after being drafted by the Celtics in 1998 and leading the team to the 2008 NBA Championship. He was traded to the Nets on the day of the 2013 NBA draft.
Kevin Garnett was brought to the Celtics in 2007 from the Minnesota Timberwolves and along with Pierce and Rajon Rondo was a part of the 2008 championship run. He was also traded to the Nets last year, after waiving the no-trade clause in his contract.
This was the first time that Pierce or Garnett had played in a regular season game in Boston since the trade.
During game intervals, the Celtics displayed video tributes to Pierce and Garnett. Although Pierce did not shed a tear he said that the fan's reactions meant a lot to him:
“There’s no words, that can really describe just the shower of love here... I was probably about five seconds from shedding (a tear). I admit to it.”
Pierce and Garnett both had six points in a tightly fought contest between the Eastern Conference rivals.