As expected, Paul Pierce isn’t in the lineup for tonight’s game. As not so expected, it had nothing to do with the ankle he twisted in the first quarter of Sunday’s loss in New York or the desire to get him rest.

Pierce didn’t accompany the team here, instead going back to Boston to deal with a personal matter. Doc Rivers did say it’s nothing bad.

“Just personal,” the coach said before taking on the Timberwolves. “It’s no injury or anything.”

Kevin Garnett also made the trip back to Boston from New York, but Rivers says he’s on track to return from his left foot ankle inflammation.

“It sounds like it,” said Rivers. “He’s around. He hasn’t played or anything like that, but it sounds like he’ll be fine.”

As for when that return will come, Rivers said, “I don’t know if we have a date.”

With just eight games left before the start of the playoffs, the Celtics would like to get their crew together for a few runs. How many games would Rivers like to see them play together?

“I don’t know that answer,” he said. “I know I want us to be in whole before, because you don’t get the break like you used to get. You used to get five and six day and then the playoffs started. Those days are over with. So I would like us to be intact and playing going into the playoffs, and I’m hoping that happens.”