NEW YORK (AP) — One of the greats to wear green, Paul Pierce found it strange playing against it.
"It was a little weird looking over and seeing all the green uniforms," he said of his first game against the Boston Celtics. "I'm used to lining up in the green and white for so long."
Pierce made just one basket but grabbed 10 rebounds and added five assists to help the Brooklyn Nets beat the Celtics 82-80 on Tuesday night in the first matchup between the teams since a blockbuster trade on draft night.
Brook Lopez scored 20 points and Andrey Blatche had 14 starting in place of Kevin Garnett for the Nets, who won it when Chris Johnson made two free throws with 7.0 seconds left after the game was tied at 80.
Pierce finished 1 of 6, his only basket a driving layup with 6.2 seconds left in the first half in the first meeting between the teams since the deal that sent Pierce and Garnett to Brooklyn.
Coach Jason Kidd told Pierce to treat it like a green and white scrimmage — and the white pulled it out.
"I thought he handled it well, as any professional would," Kidd said.
Courtney Lee led the Celtics with 14 points but missed a potential tying jumper in the final seconds.
Pierce was the first Nets starter announced after he was always the last guy called in Boston. Originally shaken by the trade, he seemed to enjoy reminders of his past and catching up with his old teammates. He had a chat with Rajon Rondo by the Celtics bench while the Nets were shooting free throws, and later said something that drew a smile from Avery Bradley after blocking the guard's shot.