Posted April 12, 2012 on
AP on Fox
The short-handed Toronto Raptors had their point guard bloodied and their interior defense soundly beaten their last time out.
One can only imagine a motivated Rajon Rondo's eagerness, then, as he leads the resurgent Boston Celtics into Air Canada Centre for Friday night's game.
Rondo is playing the best basketball of his career as the Celtics (34-24) try to win their fifth consecutive Atlantic Division title and overtake the Indiana Pacers for third in the Eastern Conference. The point guard reached double figures in assists for the 19th straight game - matching a season high with 20 - and recorded his NBA-leading sixth triple-double of the season Wednesday when Boston won 88-86 over Atlanta in overtime.
That came one night after a big win at Miami.
"We kept fighting regardless of the other stuff out there. We stuck together, followed through and got the win,'' Rondo said after Boston's fourth straight victory and 19th in 26 games kept it two games behind Indiana.
Rondo's streak is the NBA's longest since John Stockton had a 29-game run Jan. 25-March 30, 1992. Rondo is averaging 13.7 assists while posting a 3.5-to-1.0 assist-to-turnover ratio during his streak.
"I know he's on a run," coach Doc Rivers said. "I don't know what it means. He's playing well, but I don't need the numbers to tell me that. He's just been playing extremely well, he's been spectacular ... and that's why we're winning."
Kevin Garnett had 22 points and 12 rebounds before fouling out in overtime while Brandon Bass contributed 21 and 10. The Celtics also got valuable minutes from Mickael Pietrus, who filled in for the injured Ray Allen and had eight points and six rebounds in 29 minutes in his first action since suffering a concussion March 23.
Rondo posted one of his 19 career triple-doubles against the Raptors, but he was outplayed by counterpart Jose Calderon in an 86-74 defeat at Toronto (20-39) on Feb. 10 in the most recent meeting. Rondo was held to five points and seven assists while committing five turnovers, and Calderon totaled 17 points and 14 assists without a turnover.
Calderon is expected to play after taking three stitches to his right eyebrow in a 93-75 loss to Philadelphia on Wednesday after a collision with Jrue Holliday. It came one week after he absorbed an elbow in the same area from 76ers forward Elton Brand.
"He's going to look like Rocky whether he wants to or not,'' Casey said.
Casey, though, needs Calderon to fight on both ends of the court. Philadelphia had 27 assists and 58 points in the paint, totals the Celtics can easily attain given Rondo's current level of play.
"We just didn't have any resistance at the point of the ball and you have to contain the ball and I thought their guards did a really good job of getting into the paint, causing problems, causing guys to help and finding the open man," Casey said.
The Raptors likely will again be without leading scorer Andrea Bargnani, who has missed the last two games with a calf strain. Linas Kleiza may also be unavailable after suffering a sore right knee, though rookie Ed Davis did contribute 13 points and 13 rebounds off the bench Wednesday for his second straight double-double.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
Rajon Rondo has finished with a double-double in 19 straight games.
Rajon Rondo recorded his league leading sixth triple-double, scoring 10 points on just 3-16 from the field , grabbing 10 rebounds and 20 assists, which is his 19th consecutive game with at least 10 assists, as the Celtics held on for an 88-86 victory over the Atlanta Hawks Wednesday night at the TD Garden. Both [...]
BOSTON -- To hear Rajon Rondo tell it, his latest remarkable all-around performance was like following a simple step-by-step process. 1. Pass to teammate. 2. Teammate hits shot. 3. Rondo gets an assist. 4. The crowd goes wild. "Putting the ball in the hole, pretty simple," Rondo said of extending his streak of double-digit assist games to 19 in the 88-86 overtime victory...
For most of the season, it seemed like every time I went to NBA.com, the only time the Celtics got a lot of press was if there were trade rumors surrounding Rondo or the Big 3. Or when we were on a horrible losing streak.
But it seems that those at NBA.com have finally taken notice of Boston's playoff chances after we have beaten their beloved Miami Heat 2 times in the past...
Rondo continues to be the spark that makes the Boston Celtics go. After one of their most impressive wins on the season coming 24 hours earlier in Miami, no one was sure if the Boston Celtics would have enough gas in the tank to get past the Atlanta Hawks last night. However, led by Rajon Rondo the Celtics defeated the Hawks 88-86 in overtime to remain one of the hottest teams...
This was not a fun game to watch. Even worse was the fact that I offered to sub in to handle the recap tonight for another staff member. Boy did he luck out as the Celtics forgot to bring their talents tonight as they lost to the Toronto Raptors, 84-79.
Rajon Rondo did not record a point or rebound in the first three quarters. To me, this highlighted everything wrong with...
Paul Pierce overcame a miserable shooting game with a key jumper in overtime and Rajon Rondo finished with a triple-double with 20 assists, 10 points and 10 rebounds to lift the surging Boston Celtics to an 88-86 win over the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday night.
Kevin Garnett had 22 points and grabbed 12 boards before fouling out with just under 3 minutes left in OT, and Brandon Bass...
Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo know the deal. They are professional athletes, expected to go full-bore whenever the clock is running, and their legs are not going to fall off just because they played a few extra plays. Their bodies can only take so much wear, though, and the Celtics' 84-79 defeat in Toronto on Friday forced them to play more minutes than would have been ideal in...
8 a.m.: The Celtics have had no difficulty generating intensity in the past two weeks in part because the competition has been so strong. It is tough for the Celtics to lose focus when LeBron James, Joe Johnson and Kevin Love are lined up next to them at tip-off. Thursday's game brings an entirely different type of opponent. The Raptors (20-39) will never be mistaken for championship...
MIAMI A pair of stars who wear green had something to say Tuesday about the red, white and blue.
In interviews with FOX Sports Florida, Boston guard Rajon Rondo said he has no interest ever in playing in the Olympics and Celtics guard Ray Allen believes Team USA players should draw some sort of salary for participation in the Games. Allen won a gold medal with the Americans in Sydney...
After every game, we'll take stock of how each individual performance affects the player's overall value.
Rajon Rondo: Rajon accouned for almost half the Celtics' offense by assisting on 36 points (six 3's, and nine 2's) and scoring another 18. That's 54 of the Celtics' 115 points. That's amazing. He still has some lapses here...
You gotta hand it to the Celtics. They didn't mail in a game where a sloppy, uninspired loss would have been understandable. They didn't quit when they lost a late lead. And they didn't give up when the referees all suffered simultaneous strokes in overtime and started calling some of the most absurd fouls (fouling out both KG and Stiemsma) we've seen in quite...
INT. MASSAROTTI HOME – 8:00 P.M. APRIL 11TH
A weary TONY arrives home after a long, arduous day in the 98.5 The Sports Hub Studios.
Honey, I’m home!
Hi Dear! I just put the kids to bed, and your dinner is in the oven. How was your day?
Just another day at the office. I made a complete and utter fool of myself, just as I am paid to do. I actually...
BOSTON (AP) -- Paul Pierce overcame a miserable shooting game with a key jumper in overtime and Rajon Rondo finished with a triple-double with 20 assists, 10 points and 10 rebounds to lift the surging Boston Celtics to an 88-86 win over the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday night.
Kevin Garnett had 22 points and grabbed 12 boards before fouling out with just under 3 minutes left in OT...