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Paul Pierce Passes Larry Bird’s Record; Steve Nash’s Birthday Present

A legend passed a legend in Boston tonight. Paul Pierce needed 10 points to move past Larry Bird for No. 2 in Celtics history but Pierce dropped him by the third quarter as the Celtics beat the Bobcats, 94-84. Pierce will never move past the man from French Lick in the hearts and minds of Boston fans, even with now 21,797 points, but tonight wasn’t just about the points for The Truth. He added nine assists and eight boards to go with 15 points. Is that how a Celtic captain does it or not? … You knew Rajon Rondo (14 assists and 10 points) was looking for Pierce every time down the floor, too, and the C’s were setting up sets for him every chance they got. Not that the Bobcats could focus solely on the record man tonight. The other Big Two, KG (22 points) and Ray Allen (17 points) kept the Bobcats guessing … There’s still no love lost for Cleveland fans when they play King James (24 points) but no one thinks a Heat-Cavs game’s going to go any different than it did Tuesday. The South Beach All-Stars roped Cleveland, 107-91, with Wade going for 26 points. We’re always on the lookout for when the Heat have started ‘clicking’ but how about 11 wins in 13 games? That passes our test for a team in sync. Erik Spoelstra could have taken a nap tonight. Then again, he would have missed another big-time night from the top pick, Kyrie Irving (16 points, six boards, six assists). Anderson Varejao is playing out of his mind in the last two weeks, but Irving is putting the team on his shoulders right now. Interesting thing we heard yesterday that we hadn’t really given thought until now: Irving could legitimately be an All-Star. What other guards in the East – besides the starters – have really been better? 18 and five should get you a few looks, even if you are a freshman … Michael Redd got the video tribute treatment in Milwaukee as he returned a Sun. He choked up in pregame watching it, but did his business (14 points). Then he let the birthday boy Steve Nash hit a layup with five seconds left to ice it. That’s three straight for Phoenix. Forget the Giants’ victory parade, that deserves a parade in Arizona the way this year’s gone …

Click to read about The Pekovic and Beasley Show, and the Monta Ellis explosion…

What’s Minnesota without Love? The Pekovic and Beasley show, of course. Nikola (23 and 10) and Super Cool Beas (17 and 14) stepped in with Kevin Love suspended and helped top the Kings, 86-84, at home. Love stomped on Luis Scola‘s grill two nights before and got a two-game suspension (By the way, we’ve heard way too many people try to tell us it was accidental. Have some of y’all not seen these two going at it in every matchup against each other for the past year or two?). Good thing they timed it for when the Kings came to town. Glue-guy stat line of the night contender goes to Ricky Rubio: 14 assists, five steals, six rebounds and six points…basically, what he’s doing every night. Sacramento didn’t just roll over, of course. Jimmer (13 points) knocked all of them down in the fourth quarter but he didn’t get any help from Tyreke Evans (11 points) or DeMarcus Cousins (10 points, 11 boards), who combined for an I-think-I’m-going-to-be-ill 8-for-26 from the field … Indiana’s answer for everything was Danny Granger (26 points) against Utah. His bucket put Indiana, up the whole game, back up 86-85. Then Derrick Favors and C.J. Miles scored for Utah on back-to-back possessions – which Granger answered, each time. From there the Pacers stopped sleepwalking and held off the Jazz … Oklahoma City has to be breathing a lil’ heavy. A night after being taken to OT in Portland, the Warriors brought out every trick in the scorebook in a 119-116 loss to the Thunder. Star of the night: Monta. Put down your hands to consider otherwise. 48 points and seven boards, all while David Lee (25 points, 11 boards, 10 assists) went for the first Warriors triple-double since 1993 when C-Webb did it. Back and forth they went, Russell Westbrook (31 points) and Durant (33 points) against Ellis in a game where both teams shot above 50 percent. We all know Oakland’s crowd shows up for big games, but tonight was another sign it’s a crazyhouse when the Warriors are on … And our own Sean Sweeney was in New Jersey yesterday for the official launch of the Air Jordan 2012, the most customizable Jordan sneaker ever. Check out this ridiculous gallery of shoes … We’re out like Chauncey Billups‘ career.

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