Paul Pierce will play LeBron James in the preseason, but he’d rather his first game back in Boston be a regular-season game.
Paul Pierce will play LeBron James in the preseason, but he’d rather his first game back in Boston be a regular-season game. (Getty Images)

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett will wait until the regular season to play in Boston.

The two former Celtics will skip the Brooklyn Nets' preseason game in Boston tonight, as expected. Pierce had said since the pair was acquired over the summer that he didn't want his first game back in Boston to be an exhibition.

The first regular-season meeting between the teams in Boston is Jan. 26. Pierce did play against the Celtics last week in a preseason game at Barclays Center.

Both Pierce and Garnett, who led the Celtics to the 2008 NBA championship, were listed on the Nets' game notes as "out - rest." Point guard Deron Williams also remains out with a sprained right ankle.