The Celtics returned home to the TD Garden for Game 5 on Thursday night, hoping to stave off elimination against the Heat once again. Waiting for them courtside was a franchise legend that made sure to bring the juice for the crucial playoff tilt: Paul Pierce.
Pierce, a 10-time All-Star and 2008 NBA champion with the Celtics, was right at the center of the action on Thursday night as Boston raced out to an early lead. He began his night by hyping up the crowd on the jumbotron in the first quarter, but he didn’t stop there.
Pierce was seen throughout the Celtics’ explosive first half, jumping out of his seat and motioning at the crowd to raise the noise level. At one point, he nearly ended up all the way out on the court after Marcus Smart connected on a second-straight three-pointer in the first quarter.
Paul Pierce hypes up the Boston crowd 🗣— NBA (@NBA) May 26, 2023
Celtics lead in Q1 on TNT 🍿#NBAConferenceFinals presented by @GooglePixel_US pic.twitter.com/4JempAZjgO
With Pierce leading the charge from the crowd, the Celtics—who entered Game 5 in a 3–1 series hole—played inspired basketball throughout the first half, highlighted by 35 points in the first quarter.
Pierce’s passion caught the attention of the NBA world and particularly loyal Boston fans, who loved seeing the former franchise centerpiece back near the action at the Garden on Thursday.
They showed the old “You can’t handle The Truth”/Paul Pierce promo on the Jumbotron, followed by a shot of Pierce on the sidelines, and this place is off its rocker right now. https://t.co/jkEVeeVk8H— Ben Rohrbach (@brohrbach) May 26, 2023
PAUL PIERCE LOCKED ALL THE WAY IN!!! CALLING A TIMEOUT FOR THE HEAT AS SMART HITS HIS 2nd 3 IN A ROW #Celtics #Bleedgreen #TheTruth #NBA pic.twitter.com/FwoI4CoNr9— Bri Marie D (@BriMarieD) May 26, 2023
Paul Pierce bringing the energy pic.twitter.com/MwMomIb6YG— Taylor Snow (@taylorcsnow) May 26, 2023
Paul Pierce just got ME pumped for the Celtics. The Truth on 🔥 tonight on @NBCSCeltics @paulpierce34 pic.twitter.com/etuT0pTl02— Nick Gelso (@CLNS_Nick) May 25, 2023
Paul Pierce court-side saying “LET’S GOOOO” except it’s me in sweatpants on my couch— Charlotte Wilder (@TheWilderThings) May 26, 2023
END Q1— NBA (@NBA) May 26, 2023
More Game 5 content in the NBA App ⤵
📲 https://t.co/iwrVlGaQcL pic.twitter.com/QzsULxWi1g