COACHING CHANGES EXPANDED MATCHUPS DEPTH CHARTS CURRENT ODDS
Bench helps Celts fend off Suns
Boston, MA (Sports Network) - Jeff Green, Jared Sullinger and the rest of the Boston Celtics' bench helped fend off the Phoenix Suns in an 87-79 victory on Wednesday.
Green scored 14 points, Sullinger recorded a double-double with 12 points and 16 rebounds and fellow reserve Jason Terry netted 13 points in Boston's fourth straight victory.
"All those guys are playing very well together," Celtics head coach Doc Rivers said of his bench. "It's nice when you can have a night when your starters aren't great and your bench wins a game for you."
The Celtics' bench outscored their starters (47-40), as Kevin Garnett's 10- point effort paced the starting five.
Luis Scola led Phoenix with 16 points, while Jared Dudley added 14 points and 10 rebounds in the club's 11th straight road loss.
"Obviously it's difficult to win on the road in the NBA," Suns head coach Alvin Gentry said. "We've got to dig ourselves out of this. And no one feels sorry for you in the NBA. So it's got to be us with the execution, and us completing the plays, and us doing the right things."
The Suns, losers of four straight overall, erased their double-digit halftime deficit in a little over six minutes, but their slim lead only lasted several possessions and they trailed, 67-64, entering the fourth.
The final 12 minutes was all Celtics, as Terry nailed a 3-pointer to ignite a quarter-opening 11-2 run.
Scola's free throw with 1:53 remaining pulled Phoenix within 82-76, but Sullinger hit a runner and Terry scored in transition off a nice pass from Rajon Rondo to push the margin back to double digits with a minute to play.
Phoenix wound up shooting 3-of-18 (17 percent) in the fourth quarter and were outscored by 10 in the paint after holding a 46-32 on the inside coming into the home stretch.
The Celtics trailed 24-23 after the first quarter, but sped out to a 12-point lead behind a 14-2 run midway through the second. Green threw down a pair of dunks during the spurt and Avery Bradley drained a jumper to end it for a 47-35 lead with 4:25 left in the half.
It was a 55-41 margin when Garnett opened the second-half scoring with a fadeaway, but the Suns rattled off the next 17 points behind solid interior play to jump back in front.
Rondo and Paul Pierce stopped the rally with buckets on consecutive possessions, and the Suns never held the lead again.
The Suns are still one win shy of earning the 2,000th victory in franchise history ... The Suns's last road victory came on Nov. 27 at Cleveland ... Rondo, who was coming off a one-game suspension, logged eight points and eight assists ... Pierce scored just seven points on 3-of-10 shooting for Boston, which had lost four of their previous five to the Suns.
01/10 00:39:55 ET