Perhaps as a symbol of the way his team collapsed in last night's 120-95 loss to the Kings, Paul Pierce twisted his left ankle just before Doc Rivers was about to pull him out of the game for good in the fourth quarter.

Pierce hopes to play tonight against Denver, but last night's postgame plane ride was going to have something to say about that.

"Hopefully it doesn't swell up on the plane ride," said the Celtics captain. "It's a little sore. I went up and then I stepped right on (Marcus) Thornton's foot. It's a little sore, but it sould be fine."

Said Rivers: "I'm always concerned. It's nothing bad, I'm told, but I'm always concerned."

Buyers, not sellers

Silly season isn't over. Rivers' favorite time of year has simply moved from trades into the realm of buyouts.

The difference is that the Celtics will be a player in this round, though they now have to wait to see what players hit the market. One possibility, center Ronny Turiaf, was reportedly set to be waived by Denver yesterday. Chris Johnson, who was signed to a 10-day contract by the Celtics last year at this time following the trade of Kendrick Perkins to Oklahoma City, was also waived this week by Portland.