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.
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.