Of course this couldn’t be a happy ending for Rajon Rondo, who returned after a 357-day break to recover from a torn anterior cruciate ligament, because the Celtics maintained their usual form in the fourth quarter Friday night against the Lakers.
This Celtics team is light years from the team Rondo left when he was injured Jan. 25, 2013, with an entirely new roster and coach. Despite his presence, the Celtics found a way to blow another chance, while crystallizing the issues Rondo faces in the coming weeks.
The Celtics are beyond flawed and they proved it again in their 107-104 loss, when they were outscored, 11-0, to end the game and Rondo was rendered helpless after he entered the game for the final 4:53. The team he inherits lacks a go-to scorer, a quality shooter late in games, and a legitimate center. Full story for BostonGlobe.com subscribers.