Green, Sullinger dinged up in loss

BOSTON -- Boston Celtics forward Jeff Green sprained his shoulder, while center Jared Sullinger battled neck spasms during the team's 104-92 loss to the Houston Rockets on Monday night at TD Garden.

Green sat out the entire fourth quarter of Boston's ninth consecutive loss and revealed after the game that he sprained a shoulder (he wouldn't say which) in the first quarter, limiting his effectiveness the rest of the way. Green finished with four points on 2-of-10 shooting with six rebounds and four turnovers over 27:43. He was minus-12 in plus/minus.

Green, who has been held out of the fourth quarter of past games, was asked about being on the pine again Monday.

"It wasn’t because I was playing bad, it was because I sprained my shoulder at the end of the first, then it just kept nagging me throughout the game," Green said. "Maybe that’s the reason, I don’t know. The [group] that was in, they did a great job of fighting and getting back into the game."

A reserve unit led by newly acquired Jerryd Bayless rallied the Celtics, down 19 entering the final quarter, to within seven in the final minutes, but Houston kept Boston at arm's length.

Asked how the shoulder felt after the game, Green answered, "Still attached." Pressed on if he'd be able to play in Wednesday's visit from the Toronto Raptors, Green said, "That’s the plan."

Is Green upset he's been held out in the fourth quarter of games this season?

"I understand tonight, I couldn’t give anything because of the shoulder," he said. "At any other given time, I do want to be out there."

Sullinger, back in the starting lineup after a three-game stint as a reserve, finished with eight points on 3-of-11 shooting with a team-high 10 rebounds over 22:35. He sported some visible black kinesio tape on his neck after the game, prompting questions about an injury.

"I don’t know [what happened], [the neck] just got real tight while I sat on the bench, spasmed up a little bit," Sullinger said. "I’m going to be all right."

Sullinger has battled a deep bone bruise in his left hand that contributed to a recent shooting slump. He had busted out of that a bit the previous two games, but said his focus remains on simply getting the Celtics back in the win column.

"When you’re a competitor, you always find a way to stay positive," Sullinger said. "You always find a way to try to win. We’re fighting every day."