- Chris Forsberg, ESPN Staff Writer
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Rajon Rondo dished out 16 assists against the Hawks in Game 5.
Another night, another historical performance from Rajon Rondo. From our friends at ESPN Stats and Info:
Rajon Rondo is making it clear how important point guard play is in the NBA playoffs.
Rondo is the first player with at least 20 points and 16 assists with no more than one turnover in a playoff game since Tim Hardaway for the Golden State Warriors in 1991, who had 27 points, 20 assists and one turnover against the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 5 of the Western Conference Semifinals. Rondo, Hardaway and Magic Johnson are the only players to accomplish this feat in the last 25 years.
In the last 25 seasons, a Boston Celtics player has had at least 16 assists in a playoff game eight times. Rondo has seven of those performances (Larry Bird had the other in 1990).
Rondo consistently gets it done in the playoffs. Among players in NBA history with fewer than three turnovers per game, only John Stockton (10.1) averages more assists per game than Rondo (8.6).
With Rondo on the court in the playoffs, the Celtics are 14 points better per 100 possessions than they are when Rondo is off the court.
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Maybe Paul Pierce summed up Rajon Rondo's latest effort best: "That’s Rondo being Rondo," he said. "He’s one of the best point guards in the NBA. He has the confidence and controls the game. Tonight, you saw him doing it offensively with his shooting. We already know he’s the best passer in the game and, offensively, he just picked up the slack."
4dMatt Walks, ESPN.com
5dESPN Stats and Information Group