ORLANDO, Fla. — Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce will return to the Celtics lineup Saturday night as they face an Orlando team that Jason Terry (accurately) described as “terrible” after Boston’s loss Friday at Miami.
“I don’t know how many games we’ll play them,” Doc Rivers said before the game of Garnett and Pierce. “I’m not looking for anything from them. I just think they need to play. They need to play a game here and there to get ready for the playoffs.”
Rivers added that Pierce and Garnett would likely sit out one of the Celtics final two games, which fall on consecutive days.
Oh, and the 35-year-old Terry will miss his first game of the season to rest, though Rivers quipped, “He ran his mouth, so we’ve decided we’re going to bench him.”
The Celtics have lost two straight and need a win to clinch the seventh spot in the Eastern Conference standings, which would likely guarantee a first-round matchup against New York. The Celtics can also clinch that spot with a Milwaukee loss; the Bucks play at Charlotte tonight.
Jeff Green is also expected to play after suffering a bruised left elbow Friday.
PROJECTED STARTING LINEUPS
BOSTON CELTICS (40-39)
PG Avery Bradley
SG Paul Pierce
SF Jeff Green
PF Brandon Bass
C Kevin Garnett
ORLANDO MAGIC (20-59)
PG Beno Udrih
SG E’Twaun Moore
SF Maurice Harkless
PF Tobias Harris
C Nikola Vucevic
Officials: Bennett Salvatore, Kevin Scott, Zach Zarba
TV, radio: 7 p.m., Comcast SportsNet, WEEI (93.7 FM).
• The Magic haven’t won consecutive games since taking four straight Dec. 14-19. Since then Orlando is 8-46. The Magic own the second-worst record in both the Eastern Conference and the NBA, two games behind Charlotte.
• Nikola Vucevic had 30 points and 20 rebounds Wednesday in an overtime win against Milwaukee. It was his second consecutive game with at least 20-plus points and 20-plus rebounds.
• The Celtics have won both regular-season meetings this season with Orlando and have taken seven in a row against the Magic. Only two of those seven straight wins came in Orlando.
• Boston finishes the season with a home game against the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday, then a trip to Toronto on Wednesday.