The Celtics had the ball with 19.5 seconds left in a tie game at the end of regulation and managed only a wild runner by Paul Pierce that bounced hard off the backboard and rim. Pierce’s miss brought on an overtime period where the Celtics were clearly gassed and were outscored 12-4.
Celtics coach Doc Rivers said that Pierce’s contested look was not the shot his team wanted.
“Yeah we didn’t execute the play,” said Rivers. “I’ll just leave it at that. We ended up leaving Paul on an island. It’s a play we’ve run several times, and we just didn’t execute it. It was supposed to be a pick-and-roll with a flare, and none of it happened, which was unusual for us.”
Pierce said the play was supposed to be for Ray Allen but said he had no choice to shoot because the play never developed. Pierce led the Celtics in scoring Monday night and was certainly an option on the play, but the Celtics would have liked to have at least run through their other options.
“We kind of screwed it up,” said Allen. “I’m at the free throw line and I wanted to kind of fan off and create some misdirection and then Kevin go set the screen, and then from there see what we got. But I don’t think we got a great shot … We’re kicking ourselves over that.”