Paul Pierce is a fan of first quarters these days.
Sunday night against the Minnesota Timberwolves, Pierce dropped a team-high 16 points in the first quarter, hitting all six of his shots from the field. The performance followed up a Friday night first quarter in which Pierce dropped 17 points on 4-4 shooting, marking the first time in Pierce’s illustrious career that he scored more than 16 points in back-to-back first quarters.
Surprisingly, Pierce asked out of the first quarter even with his hot start, citing fatigue with guarding Timberwolves power forward Kevin Love. Love, averaging 26 points and 12 rebounds per game this season, shot just 5-13 from the field in the Nets win, hitting fewer field goals all game than Pierce hit in the first quarter alone.