An hour before tipoff, Celtics coach Doc Rivers said Garnett (hip) was still questionable. But the team announced shortly after that Garnett would miss his first game of the season.
Garnett sat out practice Tuesday with a hip flexor ailment but was able to go through the team's shootaround Wednesday morning. Garnett was on the active roster for Boston (Marquis Daniels and Brandon Bass were scratched).
Garnett arrived at the Garden a mere hour before tipoff, which is rare for him -- he's often spotted crossing through the locker room while the media has access 90 minutes before games. Chris Wilcox started in place of Garnett.
Garnett had played in every game this season, earning high praise from his coach.
"It's a great bright spot," said Rivers. "I didn't know, health-wise, if he could or would. With the schedule, I didn't know if we were going to play him every night anyway. And we still may not. The schedule is tough, but we've kept his minutes down, and I think that's been very important. He likes the 5-5-5 thing (playing five minutes per stint), pretty much, so that's gone well for us, too."
Rivers did joke that playing in shorter, but more frequent bursts, does present challenges.
"It drives us crazy sometimes because he puts that entire outfit (of ice and warm-up uniform) on every time he comes out and sometimes we want to put him back in, and he has to take that entire outfit back off," Rivers said. "That takes two minutes on its own right, so it's been pretty comical at times."
Pietrus said he was surprised to see reporters wondering about his playing status. He said he never considered not playing.
"Yes, of course (I'm playing), no doubt," said a playful Pietrus. "But, it's always good to see you guys. Next time we're going to have a chicken Caesar. All of you guys."
Peter May is a frequent contributor to ESPNBoston.com