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Strain benches KG, who may miss Miami.

Byline: Bill Doyle

COLUMN: CELTICS NOTES

BOSTON -Kevin Garnett did not play Saturday night against the Charlotte Bobcats because of what the team said was a strained adductor muscle in his left leg and Celtics coach Doc Rivers said he didn't know if Garnett would be able to play Monday night against Miami.

Rivers said Garnett didn't move well in practice Friday or at shoot-around Saturday morning.

"He's just not feeling great," Rivers said.

Rivers said he doesn't think the injury will be a long-term problem. Chris Wilcox missed the final game before the All-Star break last season with a strained right adductor muscle, but returned for the first game after the All-Star break

Garnett had missed only one other game this season. Rivers rested him at Phoenix on Feb. 22, but the Celtics won easily, 113-88. Jeff Green started in Garnett's place that night and scored a season-high 31 points. Green also started in Garnett's place Saturday.

This has been the healthiest of Garnett's six seasons in Boston. He missed at least 11 games in each of his four full seasons with the Celtics and six games last year when the lockout shortened the season to 66 games.

It wasn't known before Saturday's game how long Garnett's adductor muscle had bothered him, but he hadn't shot well this week. He made only 5 of 19 shots Sunday at Oklahoma City and 2 of 10 Tuesday at Charlotte before sinking 5 of 8 Wednesday against Toronto.

In his last game, on Wednesday against Toronto, Garnett moved past Jerry West into 15th place on the NBA's all-time scoring list.

So for the second time in five nights, the Celtics played the Bobcats short-handed. Rivers rested Paul Pierce against at Charlotte on Tuesday, and the Bobcats crushed the Celtics, 100-74.

Rivers didn't want to go with a small lineup against Charlotte, but he felt he had no choice.

"They've stayed big against us," Rivers said, "and they've hurt us, but I look at it I'm putting out my five best on the floor and see what we can do, if we can create a pace that will benefit us."

Rivers told Garnett he didn't have to come to Saturday's game if he didn't want to.

Rivers planned to use D.J. White first off the bench, but expected Shavlik Randolph to play as well.

Green, Jason Terry, Courtney Lee and Brandon Bass are the only Celtics who have played in all 65 games.

Bradley gets around

Avery Bradley said he enjoyed signing autographs at the Worcester Sharks game Friday night, but he said because of traffic, it took him and his girlfriend about two hours to drive to Worcester from his home in Waltham.

Bradley said he was about 30 minutes late, but he signed for a couple of hours.

"It was fun, though," he said. "They were happy that I came out there. That's far, man. A lot of the fans I asked them if they come out to Boston a lot, and a lot of them said, `Nah, not really.'"

Bradley estimated he signed more than 1,000 autographs Friday after signing about twice that many the day before at a Mexican restaurant in New Hampshire.

Bradley said without traffic it took him only 35 minutes to drive to Boston after the game.

Contact Bill Doyle at wdoyle@telegram.com.

Follow him on Twitter @BillDoyle15.

NAME: BOSTON CELTICS
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Title Annotation:SPORTS
Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Date:Mar 17, 2013
Words:568
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