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Celtics notebook

Rondo took flight in fourth

He gets to the point in a hurry

By Frank Dell’Apa
Globe Staff / December 9, 2009

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Rajon Rondo was scoreless entering the final quarter of the Celtics’ 98-89 win over the Bucks last night at TD Garden. But Rondo turned his game up a few notches and finished with 11 points, 9 rebounds, 13 assists, and 5 steals.

“I just kept trying to attack,’’ Rondo said. “My style of play, I’m going to get calls.’’

But Rondo still has to prove himself as a perimeter shooter, and even as a free throw shooter. Rondo was 3 for 9 from the field (he made all three of his fourth-quarter attempts) and 5 of 7 at the foul line. The Bucks even sent Charlie Bell to intentionally foul Rondo with 4:42 remaining. Rondo made both foul shots.

“Every time I shoot it, yeah, that’s the plan,’’ Rondo said of attempting to make the Bucks pay for the foul. “I try to make it.

“I knew early on when I was going to the cup I was drawing double-teams and finding [Kendrick Perkins], Kevin [Garnett], and Ray [Allen] for shots. I knew eventually they would sag and make me try to score. Second half I tried to be a little more aggressive, but when the time came to pass I still passed the ball.

“I like taking shots, it’s just when you’re playing with guys who are great at what they do my job is to ship them the ball. I’m a pass-first point guard, probably pass second, shoot third. This is how I play. I’d rather get assists any day than score. I’m going to shoot when I have to, when I feel the need to. Other than that, I’m fine with getting Ray the ball, Paul Pierce, Eddie House. You know, I’ve got great shooters around me.’’

Coach Doc Rivers was impressed with Rondo’s performance.

“Tonight was the first time I saw ‘Hack-a-Rondo.’ That was an intentional foul [by Bell],’’ said Rivers. “And he made them. Thank God, you know? Early on, I thought he was driving and avoiding contact. He’s driving now, he’s getting to the basket. I told him at halftime, just keep attacking. The one thing about Rondo, and this is why you know the shots will go in, eventually, is because he does believe they’re going to go in. He has no problem getting fouled with two minutes or a minute or 30 seconds left, and going to the line. And he’s going to get fouled more, that’s going to happen.”

Due date set?
Glen “Big Baby’’ Davis could return for the Celtics’ West Coast trip, which starts with a Dec. 27 game against the Clippers in Los Angeles, Rivers said before last night’s game.

Davis sustained a broken right hand in a fight with a friend the day before the season opener.

“I think he’s going to go with us on that trip,’’ Rivers said.

Davis switched to a soft cast last week.

“I’ve been just waiting,’’ Davis said. “Everything is fine. I’m just looking forward to getting back as soon as possible.

“If it was up to me, I’d play tomorrow. I haven’t played in a month. I’m in shape, I’ve been in shape the whole year. It feels weird, I haven’t used [the hand] in a while. But I’ve been making sure I stay in shape and go to rehab and all the stuff I need to do - running and more running; keep the weight down, avoid the holidays and all the good food, stay away [from] soda pops. I know I feel light. Don’t you know when you feel heavy? I feel good.’’

Davis’s recovery is on schedule.

“When I get [the cast] off, it means the bone healed,’’ Davis said. “But it’s all about the ligament.’’

The Celtics are 17-4 and riding an eight-game winning streak.

“I think they’ve been doing great,’’ Davis said. “They are working on some things, we always need to work on some things. The team did a great job bouncing back coming off that road trip. Hopefully, we get everyone back together. It’s frustrating knowing I can help.’’

Davis said he has channeled some of his energy toward playing with his dog, a mini pinscher named Debo.

“He’s a unique dog, he’s no regular dog,’’ Davis said. “He’s kind of dangerous.’’

Wallace on Donaghy
Rasheed Wallace, asked about recent revelations by former NBA referee Tim Donaghy relating to gambling on games, compared the situation with the betting scandals involving New York city college players in 1951. “When that came out and how hard it hit, and how hard it hit collegiate basketball, that’s [what] this one is going to do,’’ Wallace said. “It’s going to hit hard. I’m just glad I’m not [Donaghy] and I’m not the execs in the league.” . . . Garnett hit two foul shots late in the opening half to pass Hal Greer for 25th on the all-time NBA list with 21,587 points . . . Tony Allen made his first appearance of the season after having surgery on his ankle, entering late in the first quarter. He had an assist and two turnovers in six minutes . . . Marquis Daniels (left thumb and wrist) missed the game and is doubtful for the trip to Washington (tomorrow), Chicago (Saturday), and Memphis (Monday). “He’ll miss the next couple games for sure,’’ Rivers said. “I don’t think he’s been able to hold onto the ball.’’

Frank Dell’Apa can be reached at f_dellapa@globe.com.

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