Jeff Green gave Boston a sensational performance in his first start in nearly two years.

Green scored a season-high 31 points on 11-of-14 shooting and the short-handed Celtics routed the Phoenix Suns 113-88 on Friday night.

”I didn’t have a different mindset,” said Green, who missed last season following heart surgery to correct an aortic aneurysm. ”It was the same as me coming off the bench. I just tried to make a statement early and that’s what I did by attacking the rim and getting to the free throw line.”

Green started in place of 36-year-old Kevin Garnett, given a rest with Boston playing its third game in four nights…

Chris Wilcox had 13 points off the bench, and Avery Bradley and Jason Terry scored 13 each for the Celtics, who moved two games ahead of Milwaukee for seventh place in the Eastern Conference…

Paul Pierce scored only eight on 3-of-5 shooting for his fourth single-digit game of the season. But that mattered little to the Celtics, who were dominant from the opening tip in snapping a two-game skid.

Jordan Crawford, acquired from Washington on Thursday, made his Celtics debut and scored 10 points off the bench as Boston improved to 9-3 without injured guard Rajon Rondo…

Goran Dragic had 18 points and 10 assists, Markieff Morris scored 11 and Marcin Gortat added 10 points and six rebounds for the Suns, who have lost two straight and six of seven.

– Reported by the Associated Press