MINNEAPOLIS — Paul Pierce (“personal reasons”) is out, Kevin Garnett (ankle) is out, and Rajon Rondo (knee) has been out for a while. So, it’s quite an understatement to say that the the Celtics have their work cut out for them when they face the Timberwolves tonight at Target Center.
For the sake of clarity, Pierce did not make the trip with the team and returned to Boston after the Celtics played Sunday in New York. Coach Doc Rivers wouldn’t elaborate about why Pierce missed the game except to say that it wasn’t for any negative reasons.
Pierce turned his ankle against the Knicks and Rivers said afterward that he was considering resting Pierce, who is averaging 18.8 points, 6.5 rebounds and 4.8 assists this season.
It’s the second game of the season that Pierce will miss. He also sat out in a 100-74 blowout loss in Charlotte earlier this month.
Courtney Lee will start in place of Pierce.
BOSTON CELTICS (38-35)
PG Avery Bradley
SG Courtney Lee
SF Jeff Green
PF Brandon Bass
C Chris Wilcox
MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES (26-46)
PG Ricky Rubio
PG Luke Ridnour
SF Andrei Kirilenko
PF Derrick Williams
C Greg Stiemsma
Officials: David Jones, Courtney Kirkland, Olandis Poole
TV, radio: 7:30 p.m., Comcast SportsNet, WEEI (93.7 FM).
• Minnesota Timberwolves center Nikola Pekovic is expected to be back in the lineup after missing Saturday’s game vs Memphis with a sprained left ankle.
• This is the second and final meeting between these teams. The Celtics won, 104-94, in Boston in December.
• The Celtics are off Tuesday and return to action Wednesday against Detroit at TD Garden.