Rajon Rondo took over in the fourth quarter of Game 7 vs. Philadelphia, putting up 11 points, 4 assists, and 3 rebounds in the game’s final frame. The surge was critical because Paul Pierce fouled out of the game with 4:16 remaining. Rondo went on a 10-2 run by himself after Pierce fouled out of the game.
“He was great,” Pierce said. “I was thankful. You know, he was able to step up and be aggressive, knock down a couple of big [shots], got to the bucket. That was huge for us. You know he felt a sense of urgency, how close we were … it was just phenomenal to watch.”
Rondo finished with 18 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists. He had struggled in a loss to the Sixers in Game 6, where he had six assists to four turnovers.
“I just got frustrated,” said Rondo. “I’m the leader. I’m the point guard. I take pride in taking care of the ball.”
Rondo did a better job of that on Saturday. He was also aggressive when he needed to be, taking seven shots in the second half. He took the ball to the basket and seemed unafraid to get to the line.
“Rondo wants to run the team, and he’s a great quarterback,” said Rivers. “But tonight, obviously, with Paul fouling out, he had to take charge of the team … he’s been aggressive. And in the games he hasn’t been aggressive, we’ve struggled.”