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Jeff Green led a 44-point outing from the Celtics’ bench in a 91-97 losing effort against Turkish team, Fenerbahce Ulker, to kick off NBA preseason action on Friday in Istanbul. Green sat out the entire 2011-12 season with a heart ailment, but returned friday to score 16 points on 7-for-10 shooting.
Rookie Jared Sullinger added 16 points and 8 rebounds, while Jason Terry hit all three of his three point attempts and finished with 12 points for the Celtics’ revamped bench. Rajon Rondo led the Celtics starting unit with 13 points and 9 assists.
The Celtics committed 28 turnovers as Fenerbahce led from start-to-finish in this one. The Celtics expect a steep chemistry building curve in the preseason as they return a mere five players from last year’s playoff squad.
Boston mainstays Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce looked to be shaking off the cobwebs a bit as the star duo recorded a combined 14 points, 7 rebounds, and an eye-popping 7 turnovers. If Green and Sullinger can perform like they did Friday, on a consistent basis, it will help Doc Rivers and the Celtics keep Pierce and Garnett fresh all season long.
The Celtics continue their preseason abroad Sunday, when they face off against a Milan team led by former Oregon Duck star and San Antonio Spur, Malick Hairston. The Celtics will get their first taste of a fellow NBA team on October 13th when they play the New York Knicks at the XL Center in Hartford, CT.