Celtics 94, Wizards 86
When Rajon Rondo matches up against premier point guards, he tends to crank his game up a notch. So the the key moment tonight was probably when he walked onto the court tonight and saw John Wall standing across from him.
While Wall isn't yet in Rondo's class, he certainly gets plenty of hype and attention. But whether or not that motivated Rondo isn't really important. What's important is that Rondo's performance carried his team to its second straight victory and first road win of the season.
When he put the keys in the ignition Sunday night, Rondo was fired up and came out pushing the tempo and creating offense. Rondo had just five assists on Friday night at the Garden, but he posted six of them in tonight's first quarter alone. Rondo finished the game with his first triple-double of the season, scoring 18 points, grabbing 11 rebounds, and handing out 14 assists.
After the game, Kevin Garnett said his team was fired up given that it was New Year's Day, and the team had yet to win on the road after dropping its first three games in New York, Miami and New Orleans.
"Paul's back. I think what you see is our old team together. We're trying to get this thing back on track," said Garnett, who scored 24 points in just under 28 minutes, and scored on a few nifty passes from Rondo in the process.
Doc Rivers pointed to the team's ball movement improving. "It's tough to defend when everybody on the team is unselfish," Rivers said.
Rondo really dominated Sunday night's game from wire-to-wire, getting the Celtics out to a comfortable 51-34 first half lead. He didn't turn the ball over at all in the first half, while the Wizards struggled to score at all and dug themselves a sizable hole.
Key Box Score Line
Well, anytime someone drops a triple-double, it would be hard to argue that anyone else should garner consideration for the Key Box Score Line of the night.
Witness below, the 14th triple-double of Rondo's career. Only 55 more to catch Larry Bird...
Box Score Nuggets
- Greg Stiemsma blocked three more shots tonight in Washington. He's got 10 blocks in three games.
- Paul Pierce went just 2-for-8 from the floor and scored nine points, but added six rebounds and three assists.
- The Celtics posted 26 assists as a team, after posting 25 on Friday night. Washington notched just 15.
- Rookies JuJaun Johnson and E'Twaun Moore each went 0-for-1 in just under two minutes of playing time.
- John Wall flirted with a triple-double himself, posting 19 points, seven rebounds and eight assists.
- Ray Allen's 34:35 of playing time was a team high. The Celtics and Wizards rematch Monday night at TD Garden.
Quote of the Night
Ray Allen on the Celtics slow start on the road and getting their first victory away from TD Garden: "Starting out w/ 3 road games in a row, we didn't play the way we'd like It's always tough no matter who you play on the road."