BOSTON — The big question heading into last night's Celtics-Pistons series opener was would Paul Pierce be anywhere near full strength?
After his heroic and draining 41-point effort in Game 7 vs. the Cavaliers Sunday, Pierce wasted little time setting the tone, hitting a 15-foot fadeaway jumper over Tayshaun Prince 2:39 into the game to put the Celtics ahead, 6-0.
He ended up playing nearly 11 minutes in the first quarter, scoring four points.
While he didn't light up the scoreboard last night, Pierce was as consistent as he was on Sunday. He scored five more points in the second quarter, nine in third quarter and five more in the final quarter to give him 22 points for the game over nearly 44 minutes.
If he was still aching from his epic battle with LeBron James it certainly didn't show.
Pierce, who was 9 of 18 from the floor, also chipped in with six rebounds and six assists.
"You could tell Paul's energy level was through the roof," said Celts center Kendrick Perkins. "Every time he is, like, the man, he's hard to stop. Not too many people (were) screaming Paul Pierce is a superstar until he dropped 41 the other day, but I (have) known P is superstar for a long time. He's on the stage now and he's shining."
Lowe returns to Garden
Rob Lowe was back for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals. The Los Angeles Lakers fan was at Game 5 of the Cleveland series, missing Game 7 to return home to Los Angeles.
"I had to go back home. I would rather have been here in person," said Lowe. "It was great game to watch. I saw every minute of it."
As for the possible Lakers-Celtics matchup, Lowe smiled.
"It's going to happen," said Lowe. "I won't miss any of those games."