TORONTO — After being forced to call plays from the sideline for the two weeks he spent on the sidelines nursing a sprained left ankle, Rajon Rondo was happy to take the wheel again playing 33 minutes, dishing out eight assists and orchestrating the Celtics offense with precision in their 93-79 win over the Raptors.
“It was a better feeling,” Rondo said. “For me out there personally, obviously I want to be out there with the team calling the sets. I’m pretty comfortable. I know the plays better than Doc.”
After testing the ankle before the game, he got the go-ahead from Celtics trainer Ed Lacerte and coach Doc Rivers. Once he was on the floor, it took some time to shake the rust off (five turnovers) but he was able to find Paul Pierce and Ray Allen on their sweet spots on the floor, leading to huge nights for them both.
“Both of them had it going, Paul and Ray,” Rondo said. “So it was a take your pick game.”
Pierce finished with 30 points, thriving without having to handle the ball the way he did in Rondo’s absence.
“I really couldn’t tell he was off seven games,” Pierce said. “He was full of energy out there. He got guys in the right spots. He was just being a floor general tonight.
“With him you really don’t have to work as hard. I think without him I have to create a lot of my offense, whereas he really sets things up easy for me because he we have a great chemistry together. He knows where I’m going to be and he knows where I like to get the
DAVIS FLIRTS WITH TRIPLE-DOUBLE
Redemption comes quick in the NBA. Two nights after playing the goat for heaving an out-of-character 3-pointer in the Celtics loss to the Hornets, Glen Davis went for 15 points, 11 rebounds, and eight assists, coming close to his first career triple double.
After missing 10 of his 14 shots against New Orleans, Davis started the night cold again clanging 6 of his first 7, but in the meantime, he did the dirty work and eventually the shots started falling.
“I took the same exact shots, they just fell,” Davis said. “It’s so funny how basketball is, but no matter what, you’ve just got to stay positive and when you’ve got your teammates behind you saying, ‘Hey, man, keep shooting,’ that gives you more confidence to continue shooting because you don’t want to let them down.”
Pierce not bothered by sprained ankle
As if the he hadn’t done enough, Pierce threw down one last dunk to give him 30 points. It also gave him a sprained ankle, though he didn’t seem too troubled by it as he left Air Canada Centre.
“I turned it,
” he said. “Not to bad though. It swelled up, but I’ve got pretty flexible ankles.”
Even though the Celtics have had their share of bad breaks recently, Rivers didn’t see it as much of concern either.
“Paul sprained his ankle at the end,” Rivers said. “Either that or he wanted to come out. I think he thought we had practice tomorrow, because that’s what the veterans do. You ever notice that? They get hurt at the end of games so they don’t have to practice tomorrow. But we actually play tomorrow, so he’ll be OK.”