In his best game since tearing his ACL, Rondo started off by scoring 10 points in less than five minutes. He finished the opening quarter with 15 of his season-high 29 points. Rondo knocked down a career-high five three pointers and finished with 6 rebounds and 5 assists.
The Mavs clobbered the Celtics in this one. Dallas topped Boston in almost every statistical category, and stretched their lead to 28 by the end of the third quarter. After a three-pointer from Avery Bradley, Celtics managed to cut Dallas' lead to 11 midway through the fourth.
"Obviously it was a special day," Rondo said after the 119-101 Dallas win. "I'm emotionally tired. I'm physically tired, and I'm drained."
Rondo helped seal the game for his Mavericks, scoring seven points in the fourth quarter.
"All around, it was a tough game," Rondo said. "Give them a lot of credit. We were up 20 to 30 points and they never let loose. I was already emotionally and physically drained, and I called a couple of subs for myself because it was a lot tonight."Monta Ellis and Dirk Nowitzki helped Rondo out with some of the scoring for the Mavericks. Ellis finished with 22 points and Nowitzki scored 17 points to go with his 7 rebounds.
|Photo: Winslow Townson (USA TODAY)|
Celtics fans showered Rondo with cheers during the player introductions and again after the first quarter, when Rondo's video tribute appeared on the TD Garden video board.
After the 90-second video finished, Rondo waved to the crowd and made his way to Celtics' bench to shake hands with Celtics trainer Ed Lacerte, and a few members of Celtics' ownership group. He also shook hands with Brandon Bass right before the start of the second quarter.
Rondo told reporters after the game that he didn't watch the entire video tribute, but did look a few times before it was over.
"It was a big game, it was already emotional enough and I just wanted to stay locked and listen to Coach in the huddle," Rondo said.
"I wasn't too keyed in on the video. I [caught] a couple glimpses, but I was just trying to stay focused."The Celtics won't have much time to study what went wrong against Dallas. C's take on the Bulls at Chicago tonight at 8 p.m.
Celtics need to fix their slow starts. C's have lost five of their last six games. In the five games they've lost, Celtics averaged 17.6 first quarter points. In most cases, the first quarter deficit has been too steep for Boston to climb out of.