Pierce out vs. Timberwolves

Pierce out vs. Timberwolves
April 1, 2013, 6:45 pm
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MINNEAPOLIS — As expected, the Boston Celtics will sit Paul Pierce tonight against Minnesota after he suffered a sore right ankle injury at New York on Sunday.

However, Celtics coach Doc Rivers said Pierce missing tonight's game against the Timberwolves will be to allow Pierce to attend to some "personal stuff."

Rivers added that Pierce is expected to be back in the Celtics lineup for Wednesday's game against the Detroit Pistons.

Pierce will be replaced by Courtney Lee in the starting lineup.

Even before Pierce's personal matter arose, Rivers said following Boston's loss at New York that he was planning to sit the Captain as early as tonight's game to get some rest heading into the playoffs.

So the timing of Pierce needing to attend to a personal matter coincided with Rivers' desire to see the Captain get some much-needed down time.

Indeed, Pierce's injury - which Pierce said occurred in the first quarter - didn't appear to be that serious.

For starters, Pierce was able to continue playing with it and finished with 24 points and 15 rebounds - his third straight game with 10 or more rebounds.

And inside the C's locker room after the game, Pierce showed no signs of a limp or favoring the ankle.

With Rajon Rondo (torn right ACL) out for the season and Kevin Garnett out the last five games with inflammation in his left foot, Pierce has had to shoulder a larger amount of responsibility for the C's to be competitive.

Rivers, well aware of this, made no secret about looking at ways to lighten Pierce's load between now and the postseason.

Having him not available is a step in that direction.

"We're going to give him a rest," Rivers said of Pierce after Boston's loss at New York. "We're going to sit him games, for sure. Very soon."