PHOENIX – Jeff Green scored 31 points in his first start of the season and the short-handed Boston Celtics routed the Phoenix Suns 113-88 on Friday night.
Chris Wilcox had 13 points off the bench, and Avery Bradley and Jason Terry scored 13 each for the Celtics, who moved two games ahead of Milwaukee for seventh place in the Eastern Conference.
Green started in place of 36-year-old Kevin Garnett, given a rest with Boston playing its third game in four nights. Green responded by going 11 of 14 from the floor and setting his season high for points.
Paul Pierce scored only 8 points for his fourth single-digit game of the season. But that mattered little to the Celtics, who were dominant from the opening tip in snapping a two-game skid.
Jordan Crawford, acquired from Washington on Thursday, scored 10 points off the bench as Boston improved to 9-3 without injured guard Rajon Rondo.
Goran Dragic had 18 points and 10 assists for the Suns, who have lost two straight and six of seven.
Boston wasted no time taking control of the game, taking advantage of Phoenix’s 0-for-5 start from the floor and a pair of Suns turnovers to open a 13-0 lead just under 4 minutes into the game.