A bruised right heel forced Pierce to sit out Boston's opening swing through New York, Miami and New Orleans.
"Paul is in. I will start him. He's had one practice three weeks ago. We'll go by eyesight and build him up," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said Friday, about an hour prior to tip-off.
Without Pierce, the Celtics have dropped their first three games and are trying to avoid their first 0-4 start since 1969-70, one season after the franchise's 11th championship. The Celtics have lost their first three games to start a season for the first time since 2006-07 following Wednesday's 97-78 loss in New Orleans.
Celtics forward Chris Wilcox is expected to miss tonight's game due to a bruised left shoulder.