Celtics give Garnett night off

ATLANTA -- Boston forward Kevin Garnett's comeback after missing 13 games with a right knee strain was put on hold Friday night when he was held out of a 99-93 win over the Atlanta Hawks.

Celtics coach Doc Rivers said he is "not concerned in the big picture," but said he believed it was necessary to give Garnett "a day of rest."

"I'm just going to make sure I don't have concern by doing it this way," Rivers said.

Garnett has played in four games, logging fewer than 18 minutes each game, after missing 13 straight games. He had only four points and eight rebounds while playing 16 minutes in Wednesday night's loss at Orlando.

Rivers said Garnett, averaging 15.8 points and 8.5 rebounds was "just not feeling great" but would have been in uniform for a playoff game.

"We're just not going to take the chance," Rivers said, adding he will consider holding Garnett out more games if necessary to keep him healthy for the playoffs.

"We're just going to go day by day," Rivers said. "I would say we're probably going to do it more than one game, but I'm just not sure yet.

"It's uncharted waters. We don't know where we're going with this right now. What we do know is that we're going to do whatever it takes to get him to be 100 percent when it gets to the playoffs. Whatever that takes, that's what we're going to do."

Rivers hinted he is considering shutting Garnett down for a significant period of time, if necessary.

"We'll see," Rivers said. "We'll make that evaluation at some point soon."

Rivers said Garnett was experiencing "just soreness" and there are no plans for further tests on the knee.

"I look at the silver lining," Rivers said. "It gets more guys on the floor. Hopefully it gets them closer to being ready."