The Celtics started out at a jogging pace but soon got into the running spirit against the Suns Sunday. The Celtics went on 12-3 and 12-5 runs on the way to taking a 38-33 first-quarter lead.
The Celtics went much of the opening half with 6-foot-9-inch Brian Scalabrine as their tallest player, coach Doc Rivers preferring mobility after center Kendrick Perkins got off to a slow start.
The Celtics were 13 for 16 from the field in the first quarter, Rajon Rondo (5 for 5) getting them into the swing of things and Ray Allen (5 for 6) finishing. But the pace took a toll and the Celtics, already playing short-handed, went deep into their bench early. Bill Walker made his initial first-quarter appearance of the season, a final-minute substitution for Paul Pierce.