Striking a similar tone as he did in Orlando in the Eastern Conference finals, Boston Celtics forward Paul Pierce directed a bold prediction at Lakers fans in the final minutes of his team's victory in Game 2 of the NBA Finals on Sunday night in Los Angeles.
After Pau Gasol committed a hard foul on Kendrick Perkins with 1:12 remaining in Game 2 and the Celtics leading, 97-90, Pierce, as he helped his teammate off the floor along the baseline near the hoop, was heard on video replays yelling, "We ain't coming back to LA!"
The Celtics evened the NBA Finals at a game apiece with a 103-94 victory on Sunday and can lock up their second NBA title in three years by winning the next three games -- all in Boston. Pierce, who grew up in Los Angeles, seemed to be referring to the possibility of the series not returning to the West Coast in his comment.
After leading the Celtics with 24 points in Game 1, Pierce struggled in Game 2, scoring 10 points on 2-of-11 shooting.
This isn't the first time during these playoffs that Pierce incited anger in an opposing team's fan base with a bold statement. After a Game 2 victory against the Magic in Orlando, which gave the Celtics a 2-0 series lead, Pierce looked into the camera during a postgame interview on ESPN and told Celtics fans "We're coming home to close it out."
A message also appears on Pierce's Twitter account inferring the Celtics were going to sweep the Magic, but Pierce later said the account was hacked and that message did not come from him.
The Celtics lost one of the next two games in Boston and returned to Orlando for Game 5, but eventually closed out the Magic in Game 6 in Boston.