• My Scores
  • NFL
  • MLB
  • NBA
  • NHL
  • Golf

Brooklyn at Boston

Venue: TD Garden

WALTHAM, Mass. (AP) Paul Pierce might have trouble finding the visitors' locker room or controlling his emotions in his return to Boston.

Beating the Celtics? That should be the easy part.

Pierce and Kevin Garnett will face their former team on their old home court for the first time Sunday night since the blockbuster trade that sent them to the Brooklyn Nets on draft night.

''It's going to be a little weird,'' Pierce said.

The former captain spent all 15 of his previous seasons with Boston. Garnett was there for the past six. Together with Ray Allen, they led the team to its 17th NBA championship in 2008. They made it back to the finals in 2010, but lost to the Los Angeles Lakers in the seventh game.

Quite a turnaround from the four straight seasons without a playoff series victory before they teamed up.

''The emotions probably will be high just because of the success that we had,'' Garnett said. ''We were fortunate to be part of that whole transformation and some things are forever, man, and I'm happy to say that I'm part of that era.''

A bygone era for the Celtics.

In full rebuilding mode, they have only five players who were teammates with Pierce and Garnett last season. The Celtics are 3-16 in their last 19 games.

''They're going through a lot of different changes, sort of like the change they went through when I was there before we got Kevin and before we got Ray,'' Pierce said. ''They're still trying to find their identity.''

The Nets struggled early, going 10-21. But they're 9-1 in their last 10 games with Pierce and Garnett playing important roles.

The teams met twice in the exhibition season, but Garnett sat out both games while Pierce played only the one in Brooklyn. Both played in the teams' first regular-season meeting, a Nets win in Brooklyn.

When they return to Boston, video tributes for both players are scheduled during timeouts or at the end of quarters.

Will Pierce be as emotional as former coach Doc Rivers was when he returned with his new team, the Los Angeles Clippers, following his departure from Boston after last season?

His reaction, Pierce said, ''is something you can't script.

''It's going to be a lot of emotions. You play your whole life there. You won a championship there. The first time coming to the building (as a visitor), I never thought it would happen.''

Garnett was a visitor during 12 seasons with Minnesota before joining the Celtics. His intensity quickly made him a fan favorite.

''I'm sure the emotions are going to be very high and I'll react accordingly,'' Garnett said, ''but we're there to win a game and I hope this doesn't overshadow the game. It'll be good to see (Rajon) Rondo and some other personal friends that, obviously, don't play. Other than that, it's another game that I've got to be prepared for.''

Rondo was in just his second pro season when Garnett arrived and became a mentor. Now the Celtics' point guard is the new captain and came back from major knee surgery in time to play against his former teammates.

''I talk to them all the time, text,'' Rondo, who has played four games since returning, said after practice Saturday. ''I don't think it'll affect us at all. It's part of the process. This isn't the first time (ex-Celtics) have come back in this building.''

First-year Celtics coach Brad Stevens doesn't know Garnett or Pierce. He does know what they mean to the franchise.

''Those guys did so many great things for this organization,'' Stevens said. ''You're thankful for what they did.''

They turned a struggling organization into a champion.

They were ''the blueprint (for) what a professional is,'' Rondo said, ''leading by example, just great role models.''

But that's in the past.

''It's something I will never forget about,'' Rondo said, ''but you're only credited with what you've done as of late.''

For the Nets, that's been pretty impressive with their climb in the standings. Now comes a special touch, the return of Pierce and Garnett to applause from Celtics fans.

''It's going to be fun,'' Pierce said. ''I don't know how I'll react, what emotions are going to be going through my head. Wait and see.''

Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
Conversation powered by Livefyre
TeamStandingsWLPct.GBL 10Strk
Brooklyn2nd Atlantic 00.00000-0-
Boston1st Atlantic 00.00000-0-

Related Video

August 25, 2015
Nets offseason report (2:03)
July 10, 2015
Deron Williams wants to leave Nets
July 1, 2015
Lopez & Young finalizing deals with Nets
June 30, 2015
NBA free agency: Centers

CBSSports Shop

Men's Nike Scarlet Ohio State Buckeyes No. 15 Limited Football Jersey

College Sideline Gear
Get your favorite school
Shop Now

T RobinsonKnee
M SmartFinger
Key Players
Deron Williams
Deron Williams, PG
30.2 Min. Per Game 33.5 Jeff Green
Jeff Green, PF
13.6 Pts. Per Game 16.2
7.0 Ast. Per Game 1.5
2.2 Reb. Per Game 5.0
47.5 Field Goal % 43.1
39.5 Three Point % 36.6
78.0 Free Throw % 76.8
Series Game Log
Nov 20Boston 
Nov 22 @ Brooklyn 
Jan 2Boston 
Jan 4 @ Brooklyn 
Other Games
SA 101 Final
Mia 113
LAL 103 Final
NY 110
Orl 92 Final
NO 100
Pho 99 Final
Cle 90
Det 106 Final
Dal 116
Port 88 Final
GS 103
Den 125 Final
Sac 117