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The Boston Globe

Sports

On Basketball

Paul Pierce thinks Nets can still make a run

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Ever the optimist, yet understanding that this experiment has a oncoming expiration date, Paul Pierce said Monday he is convinced the Brooklyn Nets can compete for an NBA championship and is pushing himself to return as soon as his right hand can withstand the pounding.

Pierce, the former Celtic, has been out since Nov. 29 with a fractured bone in his right hand. Pierce was expected to miss two weeks to a month, but he could return Tuesday night when the Nets host the Celtics in what would be Pierce’s first regular-season meeting against his former team.

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