A few minutes after last night’s 100-74 Celtics loss to the Charlotte Bobcats, Paul Pierce walked from the visitors dressing room wearing a hoodie and sunglasses.

“The ghost is out,” Pierce said.

With their captain given the night off to rest, the C’s played as if they didn’t have a ghost of a chance in his first missed game of the season.

“It’s different,” Avery Bradley said. “Paul’s a great player. You definitely can feel that he’s not out there. But you still have to play Celtic basketball. You still have to move the ball around and still have to play the way that we’ve been playing. That’s sharing the ball and getting stops on the defensive end.”

Doc Rivers still didn’t second-guess his decision to give Pierce a break with now just 19 games left until the playoffs. Beforehand, the coach said, “I just thought he was getting tired.”

Rivers also viewed the two-stop trip that opened Sunday in Oklahoma City as being a difficult one in terms of the travel.

“I just thought that’s a tough turnaround,” Rivers said. “I didn’t know who I was going to sit, but I was going to sit one of the three elderly gentlemen on our team.”

Pierce got the call over Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry. He didn’t mind.

“He was good,” Rivers said. “I don’t get a lot of kickback now when I say I’m sitting one of them. It used to be you had to fight those guys. I don’t know what’s going on. They don’t fight back any more when I say I’m going to sit them.”