Pierce says hand not all the way healed


NEW YORK -- Brooklyn Nets small forward Paul Pierce says he has been playing at less than 100 percent.

After struggling through a 1-for-8, six-point afternoon Wednesday, Pierce admitted that the broken bone in his right hand “isn’t all the way healed.”

“My hand is as comfortable as it’s going to be,” Pierce said after the Nets were blown out by the Chicago Bulls 95-78 at Barclays Center. “The bone isn’t all the way healed, but it’s good enough to play.”

After averaging 25.5 points on 81 percent shooting in games against the Washington Wizards and Philadelphia 76ers last Wednesday and Friday, Pierce (0-for-7) was held scoreless for the first time since March 9, 1999, Monday against the Indiana Pacers.

“I’m just trying to find and get a flow,” said Pierce, who has come off the bench in seven of the past eight games since returning from the hand injury, which caused him to miss four games.

“Sometimes the ball is going to come your way. When you’re coming off the bench, you’re not a primary option and when you sort of get in, you try to kind of force things. You don’t get the looks every night that you usually were getting over the year and I’ve got to grow accustomed to that.

“I’m usually the third or fourth option when I’m on the court and sometimes it’s going to be like that. Minutes over the last few games have been different. I played less minutes last game, less minutes this game. So when you have the inconsistency in the minutes, sometime you have inconsistency in your play.”

Pierce was hit with a flagrant foul 2 and automatically ejected with 4:22 left in the third quarter of Monday’s game after clotheslining Pacers point guard George Hill. Pierce was fined $15,000 by the NBA for his actions.

“I think it just happened and I was trying to get back as fast as I could and not give up a layup,” Pierce said. “I was tired of seeing Indiana make layups all night and that’s all it was.”