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It’s Been Awhile Since Someone Besides Paul Pierce Scored 40 Points For Celtics

 

Despite last night’s loss to Miami, it was a historic night in Boston. Jeff Green’s 43 point performance was the first time in a long time a member of the C’s not named Paul Pierce posted 40+ points in the regular season.

Now there are a couple exceptions to this rule, if you include the postseason, as Rajon Rondo and Ray Allen have each crossed that barrier in the past couple years (incredibly Boston lost both of those games to Miami and Chicago respectively). However, if we’re looking at the regular season, it’s been Pierce and no one else for quite awhile in Beantown.

In fact, Pierce has scored 40+ points 12 times in the regular season since the last time another teammate of his put together a 40 point effort. Those 12 performances have spanned across 12 years, as it was December 2001, just a couple years into Pierce’s NBA career that Boston’s captain witnessed such an offensive explosion.

So the question presents itself: Just who was the last player to do this for Boston not named Paul Pierce?

It was the one and only employee number 8. Antoine Walker was never shy about taking shots, so naturally he found a way to post four 40 point games over his career in Boston, the last of which came in December 2001.

The C’s were in a tough battle at Madison Square Garden, trailing by three with just seconds left in regulation. You can guess where Antoine was headed on this play (although the video quality may make it tough to see).

A few incredible things about this clip.

1) Antoine hit the three over Kurt Thomas, who led the Knicks to win last night at age 40 in Utah.
2) Walt Frazier actually brought up the fouling up 3 strategy, an incredible idea in 2001. Hilarously, Marv Albert dismisses it as something coaches rarely want to do. We’ve come a long way in 12 years.
3) Antoine’s final box score line. Let’s do a compare and contrast with Jeff’s from last night.

33 shots for Antoine! That’s the Walker I know and love! Plus Erick Strickland, Vitaly Potapenko, and Milt Palacio coming off the bench, what an All-Star crew that was. The Celtics won that game in overtime 102-94 by the way. Here’s Green’s much more efficient line from last night.

Our final lessons from this one.

1) Jeff Green’s 40 point nights are a lot prettier than Antoine’s

2) Pierce did not have a lot of good teammates early in his career. In fact, if you look back to 1996 for the Celtics, Pierce and Walker were the only players who scored 40+ during that period in the regular season prior to last night.

And just for fun, here’s some bonus footage of Antoine Walker’s career high 49 points against Chris Webber, Juwan Howard and the Washington Wizards. And yes, the Celtics lost this game too.

 

  • Jnaldo

    Is that Tommy doing play-by-play in the second video? Wow, he sounds so much livelier than he does these days…

    • CelticsBIG3

      Dude he's 78 years old now

  • srb

    That box score is really really great. Antoine took 17 three-pointers. Kenny Anderson led the team in rebounds. Pierce was 8 for 23. Joe Johnson played 20 minutes and took three shots.

  • fabzzz

    The really amazing thing about Green's game last night is how crazy efficient it was. He scored six more points than Lebron on eight less shots. I remember watching it and thinking: "wow green is playing great, but I had no idea he's scored over forty points!"

    That's a compliment, though. Its nice to see a player play this well and score so effectively without throwing up Kobe-esge baseline fadeaways. He made his shots, got to the foul line and the heat gave him way too many open threes.

    And that's exactly what you want from Green. He's so smooth, got the right skills, its like basketball was just happening last night, he wasn't making it happen.

  • IBleedGreen

    Jeff Green will be an all-star if he improves his handle. He can drive, he can shoot 3s, he can pullup. I love the trade since day 1 and he's proving it.

  • Mark

    OT: I miss hearing Cousy on the broadcasts.

  • swissflix

    Walker also had 9 rebounds, 9 assists and 3 steals! He was truly a very versatile player with tons of potential. Too bad he started settling for that 3 pointer. So much talent.

  • Guest

    On the video for Antoine's 49 point game, how does it say "Nationals" on the bottom line ticker? I thought the game was from 1998?

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