Rondo lets play do the talking
Rondo, who missed two games after jousting with the Nets' Kris Humphries, provided the Celtics with an offensive spark, but didn't care to elaborate much on his night. Here's a sampling of the back-and-forth at the start of his postgame chat with reporters:
Q: How did it feel to be back out there?
Q: Was your adrenaline pumping for this game?
Q: How long did it take you to get back into a rhythm?
Rondo: Only like two seconds.
Rondo certainly wasted little time picking up where he left off. He chipped in 17 points on 6-of-11 shooting to go along with 11 assists, a steal and a rebound over 37:42. He did show some signs of rust, turning the ball over five times, but fueled Boston's offense by pushing the ball up the floor in transition.
"Having Rondo back was big for us, I thought he brought a lot of good energy," Kevin Garnett said. "We were excited he was back and we probably fed off that."
Garnett scored a team-high 18 points on 8-of-13 shooting, benefiting from early post opportunities when Rondo pushed the pace and moved the ball up the court after stops.
"We got early baskets, but Rondo -- we got it in his hands and Rondo got it out of his hands too," Rivers said. "I think that’s just as important. He did both things today: He controlled the team, he still made advance passes, and that’s how we have to play."
Added Jason Terry: "It was great to have him back. [Rondo] was pushing the ball, we were at a good pace out there. That’s what we needed. He’s our leader, and definitely felt good to have him back."
Rondo was at his best in the third quarter, not only handing out three assists, but making three baskets -- including consecutive hoops late in the frame -- as Boston began to break the game open.
"Rondo kind of took control of the second half and set them up and made plays for them," Minnesota's Kevin Love said. "That was very telling for the game."
Rondo might not have been very wordy after the game, but did admit he simply wants these yo-yo Celtics to build off a solid effort.
"It’s just one game," he said. "We’re trying to run off a couple games here. We’re up and down. We lost last game, win this game. We've just got to do a better job of being consistent. Then I can speak on that."
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