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Paul Pierce hits game winner so he can make postgame dinner reservation


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.