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Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett return for first time as ex-Celtics

This time on his way into the visitors’ locker room at TD Garden, Paul Pierce pauses to shake the hand of a member of the security staff.
This time on his way into the visitors’ locker room at TD Garden, Paul Pierce pauses to shake the hand of a member of the security staff.jim davis/globe staff

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The first video tribute came late in the first quarter, during a television timeout. A number, all in green, spread across the Jumbotron: 5.

Cheers began to build from the sellout crowd of 18,264 at TD Garden, there to see Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce play their first game in Boston since the Celtics icons were traded to Brooklyn last summer. Signs written for both were held aloft: “WELCOME HOME!” read one. “THANK YOU” read another.

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