Paul Pierce knows he has to improve his play in Game 4 of the NBA Finals. First, though, he must stay out of foul trouble.
The Boston Celtics’ leading scorer in the regular season picked up his fifth foul in the first minute of the fourth quarter of the Los Angeles Lakers’ 91-84 win Tuesday in Game 3.
The MVP of the 2008 NBA Finals finished with 15 points – and that included a meaningless layup with 5.1 seconds to go. In Game 2, the Celtics won, 103-94, in spite of him as he missed nine of 11 shots and scored 10 points.
Game 4 is tonight. Pierce said Wednesday that foul trouble has kept him from establishing a consistent rhythm on offense.
“When I go out there and I’m in foul trouble, it’s difficult,” he said. “I can do more if (the Celtics) need me to do more. Obviously, I’m going to probably have to do more if we’re going to win.”
Former Dallas Mavericks coach Avery Johnson said he has agreed to become the coach of the New Jersey Nets. He guided the Mavs to the NBA Finals in 2006 but was fired after a first-round playoff series loss in 2008. His hiring could be announced today. … The Cleveland Cavaliers and Michigan State coach Tom Izzo have discussed terms of a possible contract that would pay Izzo up to $6 million a year if he is hired, a source said.