BOSTON -- When Jared Sullinger hit the deck after drawing a foul on Indiana's seven-foot center Roy Hibbert late in the fourth quarter of Saturday's loss to the Pacers, 102-97, a timeout was called and the entire Celtics bench jumped up to help him back to his feet.
The Celtics were happy to have their best interior offensive player back after a three-game absence due to a concussion, and he put up 10 points and six rebounds in 24 minutes, helping keep the game tight down the stretch.
After the game, Sullinger said he felt as though he was back to full health.
"I'm fine. I was fine," he said. "I had a lot of energy. I did some conditioning the past two days to try to get my hearty rate up and get used to running up and down the floor. I'm great."
Sullinger's offensive rebound and put-back attempt seemingly gave the Celtics a chance to take the lead in the game's final moments. However, during the timeout before Sullinger's free-throws, a Rajon Rondo three was wiped from the scoreboard after a review showed he did not release it in time to beat the shot clock.
Still, Sullinger's play late -- as well as the play of Kris Humphries -- proved that the undersized Celtics were willing to work hard and compete against an Indiana front line with more size and more talent.
"That's what we do," Sullinger said. "We're the Celtics. We're going to fight, fight to the end. Some things didn't go our way out there. A lot of things didn't go our way out there. but we just kept fighting and stayed as a team. We let this kind of slip away from us."