kevin garnett

Celtics coach Doc Rivers offered Kevin Garnett the night off to get him the rest he’s losing by playing in this weekend’s All-Star game.

Good thing for the Celtics that Garnett turned it down.

The All-Star center scored eight of his 12 points in the fourth quarter and added 11 rebounds to help the Celtics overcome historically poor shooting and beat the Chicago Bulls 71-69 on Wednesday night.

”I’m seeing everybody in here playing through everything. I’m no different from that,” said Garnett, who played 26 minutes. ”Everybody’s tired. I felt like that was unfair. If he wasn’t going to give everybody the night off, then that wasn’t an option. I just came out and gave what I could.”

Paul Pierce went only 2 for 12 from the floor, but he hit a 3-pointer that bounced around the rim and in to give Boston a five-point lead with 3 minutes to play. The Celtics shot just 36.8 percent but still had the advantage over the Bulls, who made just 36.5 percent of their shots.

”I told them before the game I wasn’t going to play Kevin much and there was a chance I may not play him,” said Rivers, who had wanted to leave Garnett home for Monday’s game in Charlotte but got talked into playing him there. ”I told them it’s going to be an ugly game. … And this is before the game.

Joakim Noah had 10 points and 16 rebounds, and Carlos Boozer had 11 and 11 for Chicago. Reserve Marco Belinelli added 12 points in under 20 minutes for the Bulls.

– Reported by Jimmy Golen of the Associated Press