The Celtics were forced to use Avery Bradley at shooting guard Sunday because of injuries to Mickael Pietrus and Ray Allen. The move paid off, as Bradley scored 15 points in the first quarter against the Wizards and finished with a career-high 23 in the Celtics’ 88-76 win at TD Garden.
Bradley may man the position for a while as Pietrus and Allen could miss multiple games.
Pietrus has been diagnosed with a concussion, according to coach Doc Rivers, and the organization has not discussed when he will begin NBA-mandated tests before he can return. Pietrus has to pass a series of neurological tests and be cleared by a league-sponsored doctor.
Pietrus was injured in the second quarter of the Celtics’ 99-86 loss to the 76ers Friday night, but was able to travel back to Boston Saturday. Pietrus did not attend Sunday’s game.
“It’s a concussion and he’s not even ready to take the test yet,’’ Rivers said. “We’ll just have to wait and see. He sounds great. I knew he had a concussion, but I was more worried about his neck. So we’re fortunate. I have no idea [when he will return], we haven’t talked about that.’’
Allen, who missed the game in Philadelphia and Sunday’s game, also will miss Monday night’s contest in Charlotte after aggravating the same right ankle he sprained March 12 against the Clippers. Allen underwent a magnetic resonance imaging and the results were negative. Allen underwent double ankle surgery that ended his 2006-07 season.
“The fact that he had to do [an MRI] is always a concern,’’ Rivers said. “[But] he was fine and that’s good.’’
Bradley left the Philadelphia game with a sprained right ankle, but underwent treatment and was declared healthy enough to play Sunday. He scored 19 first-half points on 8-for-9 shooting as the Celtics led by as many as 25.
Ryan Hollins, who signed with the Celtics Friday, made his Garden debut. He scored his first home basket on a layup with 32.2 seconds left in the half and finished with 3 points in 13 minutes.
Hollins said it will take time to learn the system, especially the defensive schemes, but his longtime relationships with Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett dating to pickup games at UCLA should aid the process.
“There’s no secret what it means to play here and be a Celtic,’’ Hollins said. “You see the stadium, the banners, I have only been here on the opposing team. We haven’t talked that much in depth [about being a Celtic], but you see what it is around the league.
“My main thought was to come here because of the big [man] situation. I talked with other teams and other teams expressed interest but this was the best situation for me to step into, the familiarity with the guys, coming into an opportunity where I’m needed and a big opportunity is at hand.’’
Hollins admitted to being one of the many victims of Garnett’s verbal barrages as an opponent, but those clashes have been forgotten now that they are teammates.
“You hate him when you go against him, and usually that’s the guy you love to be on his team,’’ Hollins said. “He’s the model for bigs around the league, you talk about talking, communicating [on the court]. It’s Kevin Garnett, he’s always the example. And I have him as a teammate, I’m happy to be with him. I’ve always had respect for Kevin’s game, grew up watching him.’’
Said Garnett, “I told him to be careful about [copying] my intensity, it could get him kicked out the league. I love his intensity. The kid plays really, really hard. I spent some time with him this summer.
“I don’t make a lot of friends and I can say I made one now. I like the way the kid approaches the game. He wants to be more than good. You see it in his face, you see it in his work ethic, I’m a big fan of his. I’m glad he’s here.’’
The Wizards were without forwards Rashard Lewis (sore left knee) and Andray Blatche, who has been held out because of conditioning issues. Blatche has had a feud with Garnett, who has bothered Blatche in the past with his trash talk . . . With Allen out, Rivers said E’Twaun Moore could get increased playing time. After being part of the rotation in the first several weeks of the season, Moore has been relegated to garbage-time minutes or the inactive list. He has played 2:51 Sunday and 14 minutes this month . . . Rivers said the two-day break between the April 1 game against the Heat and the April 4 game against the Spurs may be the team’s final two practices of the regular season. After that the Celtics have four back-to-back sets and a back-to-back-to-back swing on their schedule . . . Jeff Green watched the game from the bench, the third time in recent weeks he’s donned a suit and sat with the coaches. Green is out for the season after surgery to repair an aortic aneurysm. He is expected to be ready for next season . . . The Wizards collected 16 offensive rebounds, good for 14 second-chance points, compared with 2 second-chance points for the Celtics.Gary Washburn can be reached at email@example.com.