"Going strictly by his 16-point, 7-for-17 performance, including a 4-for-10 first half, you could say that Paul Pierce [stats]'s sore left knee played a role last night.
But the captain wasn't prepared to go that far after the Celtics' 87-86 loss to the Atlanta Hawks in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals.
"I don't think it bothered me too much," he said after a brief hesitation. "I tried not to think about it. I was probably a step slower than I usually am, but it didn't affect me too much. I'm not a riser anyway."
His health remains a concern for his coach, however."
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