Pierce got tangled with San Antonio's Manu Ginobili in traffic near the lane and drew a foul going up for a shot attempt. He landed on his feet, but soon fell to the ground clutching his right shoulder. He was attended to on the court, but stayed in the game through a timeout and proceeded to miss the front end of two free throws.
Celtics coach Doc Rivers soon subbed for Pierce, but Pierce shot the coach a quizzical glance coming to the bench, then refused to be examined by trainer Ed Lacerte who came over to check on him. Pierce subbed back in a short time later and finished with a team-high 18 points (only five of which came after the injury scare).
"It's a little sore," Pierce said after the game. "It's a stinger -- I've got some numbness down the right side of my arm, but hopefully it doesn't get any worse."
Pierce, the reigning Eastern Conference Player of the Week, finished 4-of-11 shooting, missing all three 3-pointers he attempted and generating 10 of his points at the charity stripe. This was only the second game in his last six that he's been held below 22 points.
Pierce didn't elaborate much on how the injury happened.
"I don't know, I ducked my head or something," said Pierce. "It's a collision. I mean, you guys watched the game and saw the replays, I hope."
Chris Forsberg covers the Celtics for ESPNBoston.com.