By Matt Noonan
Rajon Rondo inked his name in Boston Celtics lore on Saturday, as he not only returned to the game after sustaining a dislocated elbow, but also finished the evening with three rebounds, six points and 11 assists. Sure, his numbers weren’t flattering, but anyone who witnessed his grit and toughness certainly understands that he was a major factor for his teams first win of the series against the Miami Heat.
Besides Rondo’s courageous effort, the Celtics watched their starters and role players step up, score important baskets and deny the Heat second and third offensive opportunities. Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce combined for 55 points, 23 rebounds, six assists and four steals.
Jeff Green exhibited the fact that he came to play, as he finished the game with six points, two rebounds and one block. Again, similar to Rondo, his final numbers may have not been flashy, but he definitely impressed the TD Garden crowd that applauded his efforts during the fourth quarter because he fought for rebounds, dove on the floor for loose balls and pretty much did everything head coach Doc Rivers expected him to do.
Finally, the Celtics seemed elated with Shaquille O’Neal’s performance too, as the “Big Shamrock” walked off the court with two points, one assist and one steal.
All in all, the Celtics played terrific team basketball against the Heat and will return to the TD Garden parquet on Monday for Game 4, tip-off is scheduled for 7:00pm eastern.