The Los Angeles Clippers locked up the No. 4 seed in the Western Conference playoff standings on Wednesday night with an easy 115-95 victory over the Sacramento Kings, earning home-court advantage in the first round in the process.
However, the moment that fans will remember most came with approximately two minutes remaining in the blowout win, as forward Paul Pierce made an appearance in the game.
The former Boston Celtics star was showered with "We want Paul!" chants, prompting coach Doc Rivers (who was the coach of the 2007-08 Celtics team that won an NBA title) to oblige the LA faithful.
As you can see in the video below, even Rivers joins in on the "We want Paul!" chants until Pierce reluctantly got off the bench and entered the game to a standing ovation:
Pierce didn't record a stat in his brief court time, missing both three-pointers he attempted, but it was still a touching moment for the Los Angeles native and longtime NBA star.
After the win, Pierce, who probably won't be used much during the playoffs, told ESPN.com he appreciated the support he got from teammates, his coach and the Clippers fans in attendance on Wednesday night:
"It was special," Pierce said after the game. "It's been a long ride, a great ride."
Pierce appeared in only 25 games this season, averaging 3.2 points and 1.9 rebounds in 11.1 minutes per game. Pierce's 19-year NBA career, during which he's averaged 19.7 points a game, will end after the Clippers' playoff run.
Though he'll always be remembered for his 15 years in Boston, he told SportingNews.com that he was happy to be able to end his regular-season career in his hometown of Los Angeles in front of his mom and brothers:
“To be able to end it here in front of family and friends, being back home, it’s special. Just looking up and seeing my mom in the stands, she didn’t make a lot of trips to Boston, and seeing my brothers in the stands, it meant a lot to me. It’s been a long ride, it’s been a great ride," Pierce said after the game.
Prior to Wednesday's game, Pierce tweeted his thanks to his supporters for the love he received during his long career:
The Clippers finished the season with an overall record of 51-31. Los Angeles will host the 51-31 Utah Jazz in a first-round playoff series.
Pierce likely won't see much, if any, court time during that series, so if we have seen the last of The Truth, Clippers fans provided him a beautiful farewell.News Now - Sport News