Celtics Notes: Jared Sullinger Fights Through Bizarre Skin Infection

BOSTON — The Celtics have battled through a few injuries this season. But none of their ailments were stranger than the one that kept Jared Sullinger sidelined for two days of practice.

The Celtics forward developed a skin infection shortly after the team’s loss to the Cavaliers in Cleveland on Saturday night. Sullinger doesn’t know how he contracted the bizarre infection, but he did know it got worse in a hurry. He was admitted to a Boston-area hospital and missed the Celtics’ practices on Monday and Tuesday.

“Yeah, I had discomfort, and the infection kind of turned into an overall sickness,” Sullinger said after Wednesday’s game. “I’ll be fine, though.”

It appears that’s the case, as the 24-year-old big man tallied 12 points and five rebounds in 21 minutes of action in the Celtics’ 116-96 win over the Memphis Grizzlies at TD Garden.

But the odd skin condition did affect Sullinger on Wednesday in more ways than one. He left the bench for the locker room late in the second half and admitted the reason for his departure was to put a new bandage on his infected area of skin.

“Yeah, I was just trying to dress it back up,” Sullinger said. “We kind of had a plan of, every time I came out of the game to come out re-dress the area, and it stayed on the whole first half, but in the second half it fell off. It just went back and we re-dressed it.”

Sullinger also said he felt the effect of not doing any basketball activity since Saturday.

“I felt slow out there,” Sullinger said. “Even though I am slow, but I felt slower.”

The big man’s status was up in the air entering Wednesday, but according to him, his mind already was made up.

“That was the whole point of going to the hospital, was for me to play,” Sullinger said. “One of the doctors told me in a polite way — I won’t say her name — ‘Maybe you should take a day off, try Friday?’ And I said, ‘You’re not paying the bills in my house, so I’ve got to play Wednesday.'”

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Let’s hit a few other notes from Celtics-Grizzlies:

— The C’s set a TD Garden record with Wednesday’s win.

The victory was Boston’s 14th consecutive home victory, making it the longest home winning streak for the Celtics since they started playing at the new Garden (then the FleetCenter) in 1995.

The next milestone in Boston’s sights is an 18-game home winning streak reeled off by Larry Bird and the 1990-91 Celtics at the old Garden.

— One bright spot for the depleted Grizzlies: the surprising play of rookie forward Jarell Martin.

The 21-year-old LSU product entered the night with just eight career points to his name but exploded for 16 points on 7 of 10 shooting to notch an obvious career high.

— Forward Kelly Olynyk had an outside shot of playing in Wednesday’s contest, but apparently his injured right shoulder still isn’t 100 percent.

“(His shoulder) did not feel as good as he wanted to coming out of (Tuesday’s practice),” Stevens said. “So, we want to make sure he’s obviously feeling good before he gets back on the court.”

— Isaiah Thomas recently revealed on Twitter he wants to learn from one of the NFL’s best in New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. The 5-foot-9 point guard explained his reasoning at the Celtics’ practice Tuesday.

“It would just probably be like sitting down with (Los Angeles Lakers star) Kobe (Bryant),” Thomas said, via MassLive.com. “I got the chance to talk to Kobe. I’m real good friends with Floyd Mayweather, so I get to pick guys like that’s brain.

“I just would like to sit down and actually meet (Brady) and also just pick his brain about winning championships, and how he goes about his day, how he prepares. I like his preparation to everything. I like to pick guys’ brains, especially the best in the business, best in their field, and see what he has to say to me. Hopefully I can make it happen.”

— Tony Allen still thinks about a defining moment in his career that happened in Boston.

The Grizzlies guard, who spent six seasons with the Celtics, infamously tore his ACL in a 2007 game while going up for a dunk attempt after the whistle. Back in the building where that injury occurred, the 34-year-old Allen said the freak incident actually helped define his career.

“I go out and I think about it, but hey, it made me in to the man I am today,” Allen said before the game. “Because around that time, I thought I was the next superstar of somebody’s franchise. (The injury) made me into a glue guy. Do all the intangibles and do stuff like that.”

Thumbnail photo via Mark L. Baer/USA TODAY Sports Images

Thumbnail photo via Boston Celtics center Jared Sullinger (7) stretches prior to a game against the Utah Jazz during the first half at TD Garden.

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