The Boston Celtics were without Kevin Garnett for Wednesday night's game against the Phoenix Suns and suffered their third straight loss, 116-98. They may have to adjust to life without Garnett for the next game or two as well.
Garnett sat out because of a hyperextended right knee.
Coach Doc Rivers said before the game that Garnett hurt the knee in Sunday's loss to the Clippers in Los Angeles, then got kicked in Monday's loss to Golden State. Rivers said he didn't like the way Garnett "looked at all" against the Warriors.
The Celtics were without Paul Pierce for the fourth game in a row because of an injured right knee.
Rivers said Garnett's injury has nothing to do with the knee problems that kept him out of last year's Eastern Conference semifinals against Orlando.
"My only issue is, how long is it going to take to get him right from this?" Rivers said. "A week, three days, four days? We don't know. But I looked at the schedule, and obviously this is a tough game. ... If you're going to rest someone to get them right, there's no better time than right now."
The coach said he's also keeping a close eye on guard Rajon Rondo, who started against the Suns despite a sore hamstring.
"It's funny, as far as injuries go, I'm actually far more concerned with his than with Kevin's," Rivers said. "Kevin is sitting down, but Rondo I'm watching closely, because with a hamstring, that's a tough injury. He did strain it a little bit, but if it's anything, if I see anything in the game, he's out, too. And we'll just play with who we've got left."
Garnett sat out the Dec. 22 victory over Indiana because of a bruised right thigh but returned to play at Orlando, the first stop of four in a row on the road.
Garnett's absence left the Celtics severely short-handed against the Suns. Glen Davis was also out with a mild right ankle sprain. The Celtics ruled out Davis earlier Wednesday.
"The good news is we don't have serious injuries that are long term things that are going to prevent us from accomplishing our goals," Celtics executive director of basketball operations Danny Ainge said in an interview Wednesday afternoon on Boston sports radio station WEEI. "They are just short-term issues that we have to get through."
Rivers told Comcast that he would probably keep Garnett out two games until about Jan. 6, when the Celtics face the Heat, or longer. He said he wasn't sure if that was the direction he was going to take with Garnett but that he was "leaning that way heavily."
"If I do decide to sit [Garnett], I'm not sitting him for one game. I can tell you that," Celtics coach Doc Rivers told Comcast Sportsnet. "I told Kevin that."
After the Phoenix game, Boston returns home to play Toronto on Saturday, then has three days off before beginning a three-game trip with a game at Miami.
Entering the Wednesday night game, the Celtics (23-7) had lost two in a row for the first time this season.
Garnett was averaging 15 points and 7.6 rebounds. Pierce is the team's leading scorer at 18.2 points per game.
Ainge explained that Garnett had "tweaked" the knee against Memphis earlier this season and stressed that keeping him out would be a precautionary move.
"We're just being cautious with KG," Ainge said. "He's not 100 percent right now. He still has a little bit of that hyperextension he had, or sprain. It's nothing serious. We just want to make sure we're cautious with him."
Both Garnett and Rondo participated in Wednesday morning's shootaround, the team said, but Davis did not.
Pierce underwent an arthroscopic procedure to drain fluid from his right knee last Wednesday. It was originally thought he might miss two weeks, but Rivers later said he could return sooner.
The Celtics also recalled guard Lester Hudson from the Maine Red Claws of the NBA Development League Wednesday. Hudson had been reassigned there on Dec. 26 and has appeared in five games with the Red Claws.
ESPNBoston.com's Chris Forsberg contributed to this report. Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.