BOSTON Paul Pierce, whose dramatic return from a knee injury lifted Boston to a win over Los Angeles in the opener of the NBA finals, said Friday there's a "great chance" he'll play in Game 2 on Sunday.
Pierce was carried from the floor by teammates and carted to the locker room in a wheelchair in the third quarter Thursday night. However, he returned moments later despite a sprained right knee. After coming back, Pierce made two 3-pointers to give the Celtics the lead for good and finished with 22 points as the Celtics beat the Lakers 98-88.
Pierce said his knee was stiff and swollen. He will not practice over the next two days to get treatments.
The 10-year veteran described his injury as a "sharp pain" in his knee. He plans to put off an MRI until after the season.
"At this point, with two weeks left and six games to go, we can figure this out after the season," he said. "It's either I can play or I can't regardless of what the MRI says."
Pierce said if Game 2 were Friday he wouldn't be able to play and said the break in the schedule should help him get ready. He admitted being frightened by the pain and was embarrassed about having to be lifted by teammates and helped from the floor.
"Man, I was scared," he said. "When you're laying there and pain going through your knee, I see it all the time in football, baseball, basketball, guys hurt their knees, it's not good. Once I felt a sharp pain, I didn't know what to think. The worst came to mind."
Pierce isn't the only Celtics player hurting. Center Kendrick Perkins sprained his left ankle in Game 1, but Boston coach Doc Rivers expects him to play.