- Mike Mazzeo, ESPN Staff Writer
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Pierce and Garnett are playing in Boston for the first time since being traded to Brooklyn in the offseason.
“Well, I think it’s well-deserved for KG and Paul in terms of what they’ve done here in Boston,” Kidd said. “Not just winning a championship but being citizens of the city and understanding what it meant to be a Celtic. But there’s a game to be played, and we’ll be ready to play out there.”
Kidd thinks Pierce and Garnett won’t be distracted by all the pomp and circumstance surrounding the game.
“They’re veteran guys, and they’re very thankful for the attention for the work they did here,” Kidd said. “But they play for the Nets now, and their job is to put us in position to win on the road.”
Pierce joked nearly two hours before the game.
“I took a left today instead of a right,” he said, meaning he went to the visiting locker room instead of the home locker room.
He then spent time in the Celtics’ locker room. Pierce, who played his first 15 seasons in Boston, ranks second on the franchise’s all-time scoring list.
Kidd said it was hard for him going back to New Jersey for the first time as a player after he led the franchise to back-to-back NBA Finals appearances.
“It’s tough because you have to be reflective of everything you’ve accomplished,” Kidd said. “The people that you worked with, and so it was nice to see the attention and also the gratitude. It’ll be emotional, but they’re professional. I want them to enjoy the moment but also execute the game plan.”
When asked about KG’s minutes, Kidd said the team is focusing on this game, not Monday night’s game against the Atlantic Division-leading Toronto Raptors.
• The Nets (19-22) will go with the same starting lineup -- Shaun Livingston, Alan Anderson, Joe Johnson, Pierce and Garnett -- that has produced a 7-0 record. Deron Williams will come off the bench for the fourth consecutive game.
• Brooklyn will face Toronto without DeMar DeRozan. The Raptors’ leading scorer (21.1 points per game) has an ankle injury.
5dSteve Ilardi and Jeremias Engelmann