Boston big man Tristan Thompson returned to the lineup to face the New York Knicks, coming off the bench in the 101-99 win.
Thompson finished with seven points, eight rebounds and three blocks in 22 minutes, including vital minutes down the stretch before checking out of the game with 1:03 remaining.
The 30-year-old had missed the previous 13 games dating back to the middle of March, with the Canadian revealing some detail regarding his battle with COVID-19.
"That s*** no joke for me," Thompson told reporters postgame. "I was in a 12-round battle with that joker, but I won. I'm here now."
TH🚫MPSON pic.twitter.com/jQBjugzU8j- Boston Celtics (@celtics) April 8, 2021
Starting in 31 of his 37 appearances this season, the makeup of the Celtics roster has changed since the big man last played, with Daniel Theis traded to Chicago and Robert Williams gaining the starting centre role.
The added big man depth will come as a welcome addition for a Boston team languishing at 26-26 on the season to sit in the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference. Despite the struggles, Thompson is undeterred by the recent regular season results.
"Winning games in a regular season to me, they matter, but I really think it's a bunch of horses***."
RJ is LOCKED IN.- NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) April 8, 2021
21 PTS | 4-4 3P pic.twitter.com/TRZSrG6M1R
On the other side of the fence, the loss was a latest in a string of heartbreakers for the Knicks, who drop to 25-27 on the season. The result overshadowed a scorching hot night for RJ Barrett, who poured in 29 points on 6-for-6 shooting from the outside.
Knocking down just 32 percent from the outside in his rookie campaign, the performance continued an impressive stretch for the 20-year-old who is now 16-for-22 from range across his last five games.
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