Paul Pierce plays vs. Lakers

BOSTON -- Celtics coach Doc Rivers said captain Paul Pierce is feeling better after sitting out Wednesday's practice due to illness, but wasn't sure what he would get out of him Thursday night's game against the Los Angeles Lakers.

"He's feeling better than yesterday, so that's good," Rivers said before the game. "We'll see. He's playing. But we'll see how many minutes he can go."

Pierce played 40 minutes and scored 15 points on 6-of-15 shooting in the Celtics' 92-86 loss.

"I don't think I was bothered at all," Pierce said.

It was unlikely some sniffles would keep Pierce from logging as much action as possible against his hometown rival. The fact that Boston doesn't have a backup swingman with Marquis Daniels sidelined indefinitely means the Celtics need Pierce as much as possible.

Rivers stressed that it's always fun to play the Lakers, but reiterated that it's just another of the 82 regular-season games.

"I don't know if you'll be able to tell anything," Rivers said before Thursday's game. "It'll tell you that one team is closer to getting home court [in the postseason] or something like that. No, it's just tough in regular season. You're on a road trip -- they have four [games] in five [nights] coming up and we have a bunch of injuries. The bottom line is I just celebrate the individual game with these two teams. We enjoy playing each other -- we like playing them, they like playing us. Let's just hope, in that way, we get something out of the game. I think regular-season games have very little significance in the playoffs."

Chris Forsberg covers the Celtics for ESPNBoston.com.