Who says veteran players don’t have motivation in the preseason?
Paul Pierce lobbied to stay in the game then knocked down a 19-foot jumper with 8 seconds left to give the Boston Celtics 104-101 win over the Knicks in Madison Square Garden Wednesday night.
Why would he do that for a preseason game?
“I got an 11 o’clock reservation I had to make,” Pierce said. “I didn’t want to stay any longer than I had to, you know what I’m saying? It’s my birthday.”
Birthday party dinner reservation in Manhattan? That will get you focused on the task at hand. But it wasn’t just Pierce.
“I didn’t plan on extending them and then they wanted to stay in there, they were having fun. Paul said he wanted to win, it was his birthday,” said (Celtics coach Doc) Rivers, who along with Jermaine O’Neal also celebrated a birthday.
Pierce and the Celtics starters staged a fourth quarter comeback against the Knicks bench — Mike D’Antoni did not have his starters in during the end of the game. Then again, nobody on the Knicks was having a birthday.
Joakim Noah kept his hands on DeMarcus Cousins after getting called for a foul, and that – and/or the Kings heading toward their third straight loss – agitated Cousins into pushing the Knicks center.
Remember, Cousins and Noah have a history.
Aaron Gordon has backslid this season while playing out of his comfort zone at small forward, but there are still signs he’s progressing from great dunker toward great player – like this crafty inbounds pass off Marcus Morris‘ back.
The NBA refuses to grant continuation when a player senses an intentional foul in the backcourt and launches a heave.
Fortunately, players continue to shoot anyway – which produced this fun Brandon Jennings non-basket.
Matt Barnes infamously fought then-Knicks coach Derek Fisher for dating Barnes’ estranged wife, Gloria Govan. Barnes even bragged that violence is sometimes the answer.
His self-earned reputation won’t earn him the benefit of the doubt over an incident earlier today.
Sacramento Kings star Matt Barnes is wanted by NYPD for questioning after he allegedly choked a woman inside a nightclub early Monday morning — and TMZ Sports got video of him right after the incident.
Law enforcement sources tell us cops got a 911 call to Avenue Nightclub after midnight, reporting a man assaulting 2 women and another man. We’re told things got physical when Barnes allegedly choked one woman during an argument — and when 2 other people tried to intervene … he punched both of them.
In the video, Matt and a teammate — it appears to be DeMarcus Cousins — are talking about the fight. The teammate is clearly heard saying, “Matt hit the s*** out this ni***!”
Barnes was also arrested for domestic violence against Govan in 2011. But she said the incident was blown out of proportion, and the charges were dropped.
The Kings have already played at the Knicks and Nets, so Sacramento doesn’t return to New York this season.