Someone suggested last night’s game could be a first-round playoff preview, and Tom Thibodeau broke into his best “You’ve got to be kidding” face.

With so many injuries on both sides, it was hard for the Bulls coach to even see as far as the All-Star break, which begins for both teams today.

It wasn’t soon enough, all concerned would have probably added. So much ugliness was on display, only some of it connected to good defense. Both teams were clearly crawling toward the five-day vacation.

The Celtics were treated to another endurance test, with the result a grinding 71-69 win.

They are that tired and resilient.

Kevin Garnett, who admitted to considerable mental exhaustion, hinted at retirement when he said his 14th All-Star appearance on Sunday in Houston would also be his last. The Celtics forward, though, wouldn’t go further.

Perhaps it was weariness talking after a particularly weary game. Doc Rivers, who said he regretted taking Garnett to Charlotte for Monday’s loss to the Bobcats a day after the Celtics’ triple overtime win against Denver, offered the veteran a chance to sit out last night.

Garnett declined. Everyone, judging from the horrid numbers, was struggling.

“(Rivers) gave me the opportunity to take the night off. I should have took it, shouldn’t I?” he said with a laugh. “But I’m seeing everybody in here playing through that. Paul (Pierce is) tired, everybody is tired. No one is full of energy right now, so I felt that was unfair. So if he wasn’t going to give everybody the night off, then that wasn’t an option.