BOSTON - Paul Pierce stepped to the free-throw line, moved into NBA history and then finished off the Milwaukee Bucks. It was a moment he never would have dreamed of a few years ago.
Pierce scored 12 of his 28 points in overtime to reach 20,000 career points, added a key steal with 27 seconds left, and helped the Boston Celtics beat the Bucks, 105-102, on Wednesday night.
With the Celtics clinging to a 97-95 lead late in OT, Pierce hit the first of his two free throws, joining Hall of Famers John Havlicek and Larry Bird as the only players to reach the mark while playing their entire careers with Boston. He didn’t stop there, hitting five more to seal the win.
“That was an emotional moment for me. It was tough for me to swallow at that point,” he said. “You don’t see that often that a player accomplishes the feat with one team. Five years ago, I would never have imagined I would score 20,000 points in a Celtics jersey. I was a disgruntled player.”
Ray Allen had 23 points for Boston (4-1), and Rajon Rondo had 17 points and 15 assists.
Andrew Bogut led the Bucks (1-4) with 21 points and 13 boards.
Boston had a six-point lead with 1:20 to play in regulation, but the Bucks rallied to tie it on Carlos Delfino’s driving basket with 10.5 seconds left.
“We fought, got into overtime and had our chances,” Milwaukee coach Scott Skiles said. “We just weren’t able to get it.”