The rookie Sullinger again showed no nerves in a big situation, finishing with 10 points, 5 rebounds, and a blocked shot in 19 minutes. Green, in his wildly inconsistent season, delivered 16 points and six rebounds in 27 minutes, while Leandro Barbosa made his biggest contribution in a month with 8 points and three assists.
After weeks of talking about trusting each other, the Celtics finally did without their point guard, and the results were especially rewarding.
“Winning without Rondo tells you our guys hung in there,” Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. “It’s funny. We didn’t have much offense, we didn’t have much sets without Rondo. Our defense was fantastic. I thought we gave up seven [3-pointers] they shouldn’t have had and it was our mistakes. In the second half, we corrected them.”
Gary Washburn can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.