Pierce on playing vs. Heat: 'I need my rhythm'

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Pierce on playing vs. Heat: 'I need my rhythm'

BOSTON -- Doc Rivers approached Tuesday's game against the Miami Heat thinking he would sit Paul Pierce and play Kevin Garnett.

But with only two games left in the regular season, the Celtics captain told his coach he wanted to take the court.

Kevin Garnett told Rivers the opposite. He asked for two more days off to rest a hip flexor.

"It's funny, Kevin was the guy that for shootaround, I said, 'Kevin you're playing, Paul you're not playing,'" Rivers said prior to the game. "And Paul was like, 'No, I have to play. I need to play both games. I need my rhythm. I want to play.' And that's who Paul is. That's who Kevin is, too, really. And that's why I wanted to play them both."

Pierce missed the first three games of the season with a bruised right heel. He is averaging 19.7 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 4.6 assists per game this season, including 24.2 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 5.8 dimes over the last five games.