Seeing Kevin Garnett deliver such a strong performance down the stretch would not have come about had Doc Rivers had his wishes.

In fact, Rivers actually gave serious thought to sitting Garnett out for the C's game at Charlotte on Monday.

"I really was mad at myself because I had written down right after the Denver game, 'make him stay in Boston; don't even let him go to Charlotte,'" Rivers said. "And I kind of let everyone talk me into it. I didn't even think he should've played in that game."

The loss at Charlotte came less than 24 hours after the Celtics squeaked out a triple overtime win against Denver, a game in which Garnett played a season-high 47 minutes.

"I thought that three-overtime game, plus that game, flying back, getting in late, I just thought he didn't have legs," Rivers said.

Rivers made a conscious effort to rest Garnett early against the Bulls, evident by him playing just 10 minutes in the first half.

"Fortunately we rested him just enough that he was strong enough down the stretch," Rivers said.

Following the win, Garnett acknowledged that Rivers did give him the option of taking Wednesday's game off.

But as Garnett looked around that injury-riddled locker room, he knew in good conscious that somehow, he had to get on the floor and do whatever he could to help the C's go into the All-Star break with some momentum.