BOSTON (CBS) – Boston Celtics forward Jared Sullinger joined an elite group on Wednesday night after an epic performance against the Toronto Raptors.
Sullinger became just the sixth Celtic over the last 30 years to log a 20/20 game, scoring 25 points and pulling down a career-high 20 rebounds in Wednesday night’s 88-83 win.
The second-year forward was unaware he was approaching the 20 rebound mark until Rajon Rondo, who was in uniform on the bench, pointed it out in the final minutes. With 30 seconds to go in the contest and the Celtics clinging to a three-point lead, Sullinger corralled a DeMar DeRozan miss for his historic board.
“I didn’t want to force it, but at the same time it was a big accomplishment,” Sullinger said after the win.
With the rebound, he became the first Celtic to log a 20/20 game since Kevin Garnett did so in his first game in green in 2007. He’s the first Celtic to have a 25 point and 20 rebound game since Mark Blount had 28 points and 25 rebounds in March 2004.
While Sullinger was proud to join a group with the likes of Garnett, he was more pleased with the effort of his teammates.
“That’s big-time. He’s a hall of famer. But at the same time I couldn’t have done that without my teammates,” said Sullinger. “My teammates put me in the right position to get the rebounds and also to score. The biggest thing was our ball movement, how we had the defense scrambling and it allowed me to get on the inside to get offensive rebounds. Defensively I thought we locked-in great; we were helping one another and talking with one another. I thought it was one of our best games defensively yet.”
Wednesday night’s win snapped a nine-game losing streak for Boston.
“After a while, when you lose so much when you’re not used to losing, the competitive nature takes over and that’s what happened with me,” said Sullinger.
Sullinger is breaking out for the Celtics this season, averaging 13.2 points and a team-high 7.8 rebounds per game.