Jan 26, 2014 at 11.30pm UK at ​TD Garden
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Paul Pierce: "I had lumps in my throat"

Paul Pierce #34 of the Brooklyn Nets dribbles the ball against the Detroit Pistons at the Barclays Center on November 24, 2013
© Getty Images
Paul Pierce admits to being close to tears as he made his return to the TD Garden to face the Boston Celtics.

Paul Pierce has admitted that he was not far from tears on his return to the TD Garden with the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday night.

The 36-year-old played at his former home for the first time since his departure from the Boston Celtics and helped his new team to an 85-79 victory.

Pierce and Kevin Garnett, who were both traded to the Nets before the start of the season, received standing ovations from the Boston crowd ahead of the game.

"I had lumps in my throat and I tried to focus as much as I could," Pierce told reporters. "I'm happy we got it over with and I can go back to playing basketball.

"It was just a special thing for me. Through my bad times, through my immature times, through my growing up, becoming a man for this city and winning a championship."

Pierce was selected by the Celtics in the 1998 NBA draft and spent 15 years with the franchise.

Paul Pierce #34 of the Brooklyn Nets dribbles the ball against the Detroit Pistons at the Barclays Center on November 24, 2013
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