There’s a wide range of directions that Jared Sullinger could have gone after learning that he would be coming off the bench.
He could have sulked, complained, become a pain in Brad Stevens’ you-know-what about it.
But Sullinger did what he seems to always do when a similar situation presents itself.
He handled the situation like a professional, never flinched and did his part in helping Boston snap a two-game losing skid with a 103-94 win over the Brooklyn Nets.
Sullinger had a double-double of 12 points and 10 rebounds with the Celtics (19-15) ending their season series with the Nets tied at two games apiece.
There was no mistaking that the Celtics were still stinging a bit from Saturday’s 100-97 loss to the Brooklyn Nets at home which came on the heels of losing at home to the Los Angeles Lakers.
Both the Nets and Lakers rank among the league’s bottom-five clubs.
“We lost two we should have won,” Sullinger told reporters after the win.
But those games are in the past now, with the focus now being on how to continue building off of what worked against the Nets.
And part of that success will be continued production from Sullinger whether he’s starting or coming off the bench.
“I gotta do what I gotta do to be the best player for the Boston Celtics,” said Sullinger who has a team-leading nine double-doubles this season with Boston being 6-3 in those games.
Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds from Monday’s game.
Crowder set the tone from the game’s early moments, and continued to play at an unmatched level for the rest of the night. He finished with a career-high 25 points, 14 of which came in the first quarter.
He continues to be a major matchup problem for the Celtics who fortunately won’t have to see him again until next season. In the fourth and final matchup between these two this season, Young had a double-double of 23 points and a game-high 15 rebounds.
There was tremendous patience shown by Thomas most of the game as he did a nice job of probing the defense while finding his shots as well as setting up shots for his teammates. He finished with 19 points to go with seven assists without committing a single turnover.
Getting the start for an injured Avery Bradley (left hip), Turner made the most of his more prominent role on Saturday. He finished with a double-double of 12 points and 11 rebounds to go with three assists.
Coming off the bench for the first time in more than 30 games, Sullinger did many of the things that elevated him to the starting lineup. He finished with a double-double of 12 points and 10 rebounds in addition to three steals.
Third quarter lull
The Celtics snapped more than just a two-game losing streak. They also managed to win a game after being outscored in the third quarter. Monday’s game was first time this season in which Boston won after being outscored in the third quarter. Prior to Monday, Boston’s record in such games was 0-9.