Rondo made contact with referee Marc Davis after arguing a foul call against Celtics forward Brandon Bass. Rondo was ejected from the game, and by rule intentional contact with an official merits a one-game suspension. The NBA reviewed the play today before handing down final judgment.
“Obviously, from a competitive standpoint we are disappointed with the league’s decision to suspend Rondo. He plays a valuable part in our team’s success. We accept the punishment and will use it as a learning tool for our players," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said.
Rivers had defended his point guard Sunday night.
“I thought Marc Davis stopped and turned toward Rondo,’’ said Rivers after the game. “They bumped into each other. Once you get thrown out you might as well keep talking. That’s all it was in my opinion."
Said Paul Pierce, "I don't think it was on purpose. But it's up to the league."
This morning, before the ruling had been handed down, NBA commissioner David Stern told ESPN radio that he thought Rondo "obviously bumped" Davis.
"We have a hard and fast rule," said Stern. "Unless somebody trips you and sends you into him, nobody touches a referee. That’s the proposition.”
In addition to being without Rondo, the Celtics may also be without guard Ray Allen, who is questionable with an ankle injury. Game 2 is Tuesday night in Atlanta.
Globe reporter Amalie Benjamin contributed to this report.