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Pierce proud of being overprotective

Posted by Julian Benbow, Globe Staff  December 29, 2010 11:09 AM

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piercegranger.JPGLast night's performance -- 21 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists -- was another example of Paul Pierce having to play multiple roles while the Celtics plug along without Rajon Rondo. But afterward, he was searching the locker room for a box score just so he could check one number.

He scanned down to the turnover column, saw the "0," and said, "That's what I'm most proud of ... especially with the ball in my hands."

On Christmas Day, Pierce turned the ball over five times. This month, his turnovers are up from November (2.2 to 1.4).

All of Pierce's relevant numbers -- points, rebounds, assists, minutes -- have shot up in Rondo's absence. A year ago, injuries would have made it difficult to carry the load, but being healthy this season, he said he’s able to a take on all the different tasks, knowing that eventually Rondo will be back to make his life easier.

“It’s nothing I haven’t done,” Pierce said. “I’ve been asked to be more of a playmaker and a scorer. I have to do pretty much everything. It’s not going to be for long, though. When Rondo gets back, he’s going to take the pressure off me to where I can get back to doing what I do, but that’s what the team needs right now. It’s not taking a toll.”

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