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Pierce takes charge

BOSTON -- Paul Pierce's biggest play of the night?

Celtics coach Doc Rivers pointed to one in which Pierce didn't even have the ball in his hands. Despite pouring in a game-high 27 points, Pierce took a charge from Andre Iguodala in the defensive end with 34 seconds remaining and the 76ers looking to tie the game.

At the other end of the floor, Pierce helped set into motion a play that would end with Rajon Rondo making a desperation baseline jumper at the shot-clock buzzer that helped Boston escape with a 113-110 triumph at the Garden.

"The best play [Pierce] made was a charge," said Rivers. "He took a charge. That's what I didn't think we did. We talked about it at halftime, guys stepping up. They're driving to the basket with their heads down. If anybody was willing to just step up and take the [body], we could get a couple of charges in the game."

Rivers was effusive in his praise of Pierce, who logged 42 minutes, 43 seconds of court time and added six assists, six rebounds, and a steal to his stat line.

"He's been the MVP to me," said Rivers. "Not only just with his play, but all over. He was on guys in the second quarter and then at halftime about our play. 'Where's the defensive urgency? Get out on shots, stop making excuses.' And he's the one that's not. He's doing everything you ask him to do."

For more on Pierce's night, check out THIS story.