BROOKLYN -- It's night one of Reunion Week for the Celtics, who will get to face two of the Big Three tonight as Paul Pierce was declared healthy enough to play despite dealing with a fractured hand. He will come off the bench for the first time in six years. Nets coach Jason Kidd also said Deron Williams will return to the lineup, meaning the Celtics will face a nearly healthy Nets team.
Rajon Rondo said he is "close" to getting back on the court but "not ready yet." He is here in New York and will get a chance to exchange pleasantries with Pierce and Garnett. The Celtics are coming off a 41-point victory over the New York Knicks and lead the Atlantic Division by 1 1/2 games over Toronto.
BOSTON CELTICS (10-12)
PG Avery Bradley
SG Jordan Crawford
SF Jeff Green
PF Brandon Bass
C Jared Sullinger
Inactives: Rajon Rondo
BROOKLYN NETS (6-14)
PG Deron Williams
SG Joe Johnson
SF Alan Anderson
PF Kevin Garnett
C Brook Lopez
Inactives: Andrei Kirilenko, Jason Terry
Officials: Bennett Salvatore, Courtney Kirkland, Kevin Scott
TV, radio: 7:30, Comcast SportsNet, (WZLX 100.7 FM).
• Pierce will make his first game appearance since Nov. 29 because of a fractured bone in his right hand and will make his first appearance off the bench since Feb. 9, 2007 while with the Celtics against the New Jersey Nets. Pierce has played in 1,118 regular season game and this is his fourth time coming off the bench.
• Deron Williams, who has missed 11 of the past 12 games with a sprained left ankle, will return and start for the Nets. Williams has only reached double figures in assists once this season and is shooting a career-low 40 percent and averaging 9.3 points.
• Rookie Kelly Olynyk is back to practice after missing the past three weeks with a sprained right ankle but was scratched from a possible return tonight. Olynyk could return Wednesday against the Clippers or Friday against the Knicks.
• The Celtics return home early Wednesday morning and then face Doc Rivers and the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday night to begin a five-game homestand.