Saturday night’s near-win in Memphis may have worked wonders for the Celtic scrubs who cut a Grizzlies lead from 21 points to two in the last eight minutes.

But for the veterans straining to pull the Celtics out of their four-game losing streak with only 13 games left in the season, no amount of makeup can cover up the Celtics’ messy morning-after look. Kevin Garnett missed his third game in the last five Saturday, this time with a sprained left ankle.

Coach Doc Rivers said he didn’t know the answer when asked if Garnett has been playing with the injury. Garnett’s recent shooting performances would indicate he’s been playing wounded for at least two weeks (he shot 24 percent over a two-game stretch March 10-12). But with Courtney Lee also struggling with a left ankle sprain, Rivers’ policy of stressing health over playoff positioning is about to be tested.

Old issues of turnovers, rebounding deficiency and low energy have re-emerged.

The C’s also remain the worst road team of any currently headed for the playoffs, with a 12-23 record away from the Garden.

Little wonder that captain Paul Pierce wore the longest face Saturday.

“There’s no moral victories,” Pierce said. “(Injuries are) part of the rigors of an NBA season and you see it every year. You know it’s going to happen — it’s almost inevitable. You just have to try and withstand them.

“We have to keep our turnovers down obviously and rebound better. And we have to push tempo. If we can do those three things we give ourselves a good chance to win. There’s not a lot of room for error, especially with the injuries.”

The playoffs could be a truly brief experience if the Celtics don’t develop some kind of road consistency.

True, they have won in some tough locales this winter, with big wins in Utah and Indiana to their credit in the last month.