Boston Celtics rout Heat 91-72
Rajon Rondo got his pregame orders from Doc Rivers. The Celtics coach wanted his point guard to concentrate on scoring.
Rondo did that - and so much more.
He finished with 16 points, 14 assists and 11 rebounds, and Boston handed Miami THEIR biggest loss of the season, pulling away with a dominant third quarter for a 91-72 win over the Heat yesterday.
Rondo had eight assists in that period when the Celtics outscored the Heat 31-12, turning a 49-44 half-time lead into an 80-56 advantage. They stayed ahead by at least 19 the rest of the way for their fifth straight win.
He also had 10 points in the first quarter. Not bad for a sometimes shaky shooter who hadn't scored more than seven points in any of his previous five games.
RONDO SET THE TONE
"We told Rondo that we needed him to be a scorer. Not a playmaker, a scorer," Rivers said. "He set the tone at the beginning of the game by doing that and I thought that loosened it up for everybody."
He reached the triple-double mark for the fifth time this season with 81/2 minutes to play. It was his 13th consecutive game with at least 10 assists and another outstanding performance in a marquee game on national television, a scenario in which he seems to thrive.
The loss continued a couple of disturbing trends for the Heat - seven losses in their last 10 road games and three consecutive setbacks of at least 15 points. Their previous worst defeat of the season came just one week earlier, 103-87 at Oklahoma City, and their last loss of more than 19 points came on March 4, 2011 at San Antonio, 125-95.