When Gerald Green returned to the Boston Celtics this season, not much was expected of the longtime NBA veteran clearly in the twilight stage of his career. But when the team needed him most, he was ready to step up his game, as evidenced in the 113-103 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday night.

Green's game

As per usual, the small forward came off the Celtics bench, relegated to backup duty because of the talent of Jae Crowder in front of him on the depth chart. When he came into the game, though, Green lit it up, scoring 19 points in 19 minutes for an average of a point a minute. He added five rebounds and shot 7-of-10 from the field.

His +12 plus/minus rating was only topped by point guard Marcus Smart.

The 19 points for Green in the game was the most of his season - his previous high was nine points, which he recorded in his season debut with the Celtics in a 122-117 win over the Brooklyn Nets. He topped that mark in the second quarter alone on Tuesday night, scoring 10 of his 19 points in the frame, a sign of how hot he would be throughout the contest.

Back with the Celtics

Green signed with the Celtics on July 27, returning to the team who drafted him in the first round of the 2005 NBA Draft. He signed for less than $1 million, indicating he wouldn't be a major part of the team's plans for the year, and would even have to battle for a roster spot.

Back in October, a game like this would've been completely unexpected - now, he may have a chance to replicate the production going forward.

Green originally left the team in a trade that netted the Celtics star Kevin Garnett from the Minnesota Timberwolves, a brilliant move for Boston but the beginning of a journeyman career for their former small forward.

In addition to Minnesota and Boston, he suited up for six other NBA teams and even went abroad for a time. He once won the Slam Dunk Contest in 2007, but he only made one All-Star team and it was in the D-League in 2012. He has the opportunity to go out with a big game here and there this season, and he could develop into a key contributor over the season.

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