Paul Pierce says he’s been playing with a pinched nerve in his neck

Danny Ainge noticed that Paul Pierce seemed to have some kink in his neck. The Celtics forward would turn his head and grimace. He was in pain, but he never admitted to it.

After the Celtics beat Chicago, 71-69, Wednesday at TD Garden, Pierce did admit that he’s been playing with a pinched nerve in his neck for a while now.

“It’s something that’s been bothering me probably for like the last two months,” he said. “It’s getting better, though. The last couple weeks, it’s been better than it has been.”

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The Celtics have won eight of their last nine games, and Pierce has been stellar during that run, posting two triple doubles while hitting two clutch shots that helped seal wins. For the month of February, he’s averaging 18.7 points, 9.3 rebounds, and 7.5 assists.

Pierce added after the game that the All-Star Break was coming at a perfect time. There’s no doubt that he and the rest of the Celtics could use the rest.