Brooklyn Nets forward Paul Pierce reached the 25,000-point plateau for his career during Friday's loss to the Atlanta Hawks, becoming just the 18th player in NBA history to reach that mark, per ESPN Stats & Info.
Many believed Pierce was going to break the record Tuesday against the Miami Heat, but he scored only 14 points and was then unable to play Wednesday against the Orlando Magic due to a right hip pointer. But he needed only five points Friday to to join the illustrious club, and he hit the mark on a three-point jumper over Atlanta's DeMarre Carroll with three minutes, nine seconds remaining in the second quarter.
Pierce spent the first 15 seasons of his career with the Boston Celtics before joining the Nets in a blockbuster trade last summer that saw him sent to Brooklyn along with forward Kevin Garnett and guard Jason Terry in exchange for forwards Gerald Wallace and Kris Humphries, guards MarShon Brooks, Keith Bogans and Kris Joseph, first-round draft picks in 2014, 2016 and 2018, as well as the option to swap picks in 2017.
The 36-year-old former Kansas Jayhawk left Boston as the No. 2 scorer in franchise history, with his 24,021 points in a Celtics uniform trailing only Hall of Famer John Havlicek’s 26,395.
However, it's been a bit of a struggle for Pierce this season, as he is averaging a career-worst 13.5 points per game, while averaging 28.2 minutes per contest—the first time he has ever averaged fewer than 33 minutes.
Garnett, Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant and Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki are the only active players with more career points than Pierce. Bryant is currently fourth all-time with 31,700, while Nowitzki recently passed Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson to move into the top 10. Garnett’s 25,623 points rank 14th in NBA history, one spot behind Havlicek.
Pierce may be nearing the end of the line, but he isn't quite there yet. When all is said and done, he'll likely be one of the 15 most prolific scorers in league history, possibly even top 10.