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Pierce questionable for tonight’s game

NewsOK.com Sports Staff Modified: April 12, 2013 at 5:52 pm •  Published: March 31, 2010

BOSTON — Celtics All-Star forward Paul Pierce is questionable for tonight’s game against the Thunder at TD Garden.

Pierce, averaging a team high 18.2 points, suffered a “stinger” Sunday night in a loss to San Antonio and reinjured his right shoulder Tuesday at practice.

“It’s a stinger, same exact reaction, looked worse,” Celtics coach Doc Rivers was quoted after Tuesday’s practice.

Rivers said doctors informed him Pierce will “be fine.” But after being hit on the left side by the Spurs Manu Ginobili in Sunday’s game, Pierce felt pain in his right shoulder and upper back but continued playing.

“He just got picked and went down,” Rivers was quoted. “You get concerned two days in a row, a game and a practice, and the exact same thing happens… It’s not a shoulder separation or anything. Probably worst case is he misses a game or two.”

The Celtics tonight will get back starting center Kendrick Perkins, who has missed two games with knee tendinitis. Perkins, who practiced Tuesday, said he’s been battling a sore knee the past two months.

Asked it the injury has affected his play, Perkins was quoted: “I think so. I can’t get up and really block shots like I want to, get up and rebound. But I’ve got to get the job done. Not trying to make excuses but it has (affected me).”

Boston won the first meeting 105-87 almost four months ago in the Ford Center, a game the Celtics dominated. Oklahoma City has gone 34-19 since that meeting while Boston is 24-21 since Christmas.

Tonight’s game will be the Thunder’s third game in four nights but most of their starters rested much of the fourth quarter in a 111-93 victory at Philadelphia.

Rivers on Tuesday raved about Durant’s impact.

“They’re young and good and their best player is (Durant),” Rivers said. “The young teams that have any type of success, historically, there’s no doubt who their best player is. The young teams where everybody’s good always have problems because everybody’s fighting to see who is the man. I don’t think there’s any question who the man is on Oklahoma’s team.”

The Thunder, 45-28, is on the brink of clinching a playoff berth. The earliest Oklahoma City can clinch is Friday night but more likely Saturday or Sunday.