3. 2002 Eastern Conference Finals, Game 3
In 2002 — the same season where Pierce dropped a then career-high 48 points on the Nets — the Celtics would meet New Jersey in the Eastern Conference Finals. Though they would lose the series in six games, The Truth provided Boston with its biggest victory of the series.
In Game 3, with the series tied at 1-1, Pierce led an unlikely comeback to give Boston a 2-1 lead.
It wasn’t his best playoff game, since he only had 28 points on 8-of-21 shooting from the field and 0-of-5 shooting from three-point range. But like his Game 4 performance in 2003, Pierce came to life in the second half, exploding for 19 fourth quarter points to erase a 21-point deficit.
At the time, it was the greatest fourth quarter comeback in NBA playoff history. Despite missing 12 of his first 14 shots, Pierce made six of his last seven to lead the Celtics back from the brink.
His team would go on to lose the next three games and the series, but that fourth quarter turnaround in Game 3 remains one of the better examples of Pierce’s indomitable will, and why his legacy extends far beyond the stat sheet.