MAGIC AT CELTICS, 7:30 P.M. ET

TV: League Pass

  • The Celtics were dealt their second season-ending injury of the week before the game, as the team announced Jared Sullinger underwent successful lumbar disc surgery today and will miss the remainder of the season. The rookie power forward pulled himself out of Wednesday’s win over the Kings with back spasms. Sullinger’s condition did not improve over the past couple days, as team doctors decided they would have to operate on the rookie’s back, which has given the 20-year-old repeated problems throughout his career. Sullinger is expected to be ready for training camp next season. Brandon Bass will be inserted back into the starting lineup with Sullinger out.
  • With Rajon Rondo and now Sullinger sidelined, Boston has decided to activate rookie center Fab Melo for the first time all season. The former Syracuse star is averaging 11.3 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 3.8 blocks over 27.7 minutes per game for the Maine Red Claws, Boston’s D-League affiliate this season.
  • With Glen Davis sidelined for the next 8-12 weeks after breaking his left foot in Wednesday’s loss to the Knicks, Jacque Vaughn has decided to insert rookie Andrew Nicholson into the starting lineup against Boston. The 6’9” forward is averaging 7.2 points and 3.2 rebounds per game this season.
  • Arron Afflalo will miss his third straight game with a strained left calf. J.J. Redick will fill Afflalo’s spot at shooting guard in the starting five.
  • Without Sullinger and Rondo, two of Boston’s best rebounders, Doc Rivers will need to look elsewhere on his team for rebounding. Before the game, he pointed to hybrid forward Jeff Green, along with guards Leandro Barbosa and Courtney Lee as players that needed to step up their rebounding.

– Brian Robb

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