The Boston Celtics led 108-107 with 51.9 seconds remaining in double-overtime Wednesday night when Rajon Rondo had his shot blocked by Vince Carter. A critical play like that would cause many guards to become deflated and shy with the ball, but Rondo is one of a kind. He just shook it off and kept playing.
There wasn’t enough time for him and the Celtics to become deflated because Dallas gave the ball right back to them 3.1 seconds later. The Mavericks tossed a pass out of bounds in transition after Carter’s block, which gave Boston possession of the ball with 48.8 seconds left.
The C’s called for a timeout after that turnover and they decided to go right back to their All-Star point guard on the next possession. The play he went on to deliver was anything but shy.
Rondo drove from the right wing down the left side of the lane and left his defender, O.J. Mayo, in the dust. The move was so quick and decisive that no other Mavs defender was in the vicinity of the basket to challenge Rondo’s shot. As he arrived at the left block, Rondo flicked the ball off of the glass with his right hand and put the Celtics ahead 110-107 with 35.5 seconds left on the clock.
Darren Collison missed a jump shot on Dallas’ next possession and the rebound was snatched down by, guess who, Rondo. He quickly dished the ball off to Paul Pierce, who was then fouled by Collison. Pierce hit one of his two free throws to put the C’s ahead by four with less than 20 seconds remaining in the extra session.
Boston canned six free throws down the stretch to seal the game, but the team wouldn’t have even been in that position had it not been for Rondo. The Celtics’ floor general quickly overcame a tough play and gave the Celtics a comfortable lead 16 seconds later. That’s the stuff great players are made of.
Key Box Score Line
Finally, the real Paul Pierce has returned to Boston.
Pierce had an offensive eruption Wednesday night and the Dallas Mavericks were forced to deal with it for 44 of the game’s 58 minutes. He scored 34 points that doubled as both a game-high total and a season-high total. Pierce’s offensive aggression, highlighted by 25 shot attempts, helped him get to the charity stripe for a game-high 11 free throw attempts.
The captain’s offensive numbers were fantastic, but he also pitched in solid numbers in several other categories. Pierce notched six boards, three assists, four steals and a blocked shot during his 44 minutes of action.
Dallas wanted to set up a defensive wall to stop No. 34, but by the end of the night, that wall was no longer erect. As we’ve learned for 14-plus seasons, and yet again Wednesday night, Pierce has the ability to break a defense down all by himself.
Box Score Nuggets
- Thirteen players in the game scored in double-figures, led by Paul Pierce's 34.
- The Celtics (43.0 percent) were outshot by the Mavs (51.1 percent) by 8.1 percent but still won.
- Boston made eight more free throws (25) than Dallas attempted (17).
- Rajon Rondo played 52:30 of the game's 58 minutes.
- O.J. Mayo committed a game-high nine turnovers, which was just four less than Boston's entire team.
- Rajon Rondo's 15 assists were more than double the amount of Dallas' top performer in that category, which was Shawn Marion with seven helpers.
- Dallas' largest lead of the game was the smallest lead possible - one point.
- The Mavericks scored 60 points in the paint compared to Boston's 40
- Mayo led the Mavs with 24 points.
- Jeff Green's shot total (16) was higher than his point total (15).
- Pierce surpassed 23,000 career points in the game.
- Twelve players grabbed at least five rebounds, but none grabbed more than 11.
- Dallas committed 28 turnovers that led to 34 points for Boston.
Quote of the Night
I wish we could keep playing until we win. O.J. Mayo on the game's result after 58 minutes of play