Rondo's play speaks volumes

BOSTON -- On the same day his comments on team chemistry drew headlines, Boston Celtics guard Rajon Rondo created some new ones, but this time he let his play do the talking.

Rondo registered 22 points, 14 assists, 6 rebounds and 3 steals as the Boston Celtics topped the Miami Heat 107-102 Wednesday night at TD Garden.

Rondo, whose comments to the Boston Herald hinted at possible friction in the Celtics' locker room, ensured a room full of smiles after Wednesday's performance in which he helped shoulder the load without injured captain Paul Pierce (day to day, sprained left mid-foot).

The fourth-year point guard, who was named to his first All-Star team this month, outdueled six-time All-Star Dwyane Wade, who finished with 30 points, 13 assists and 4 rebounds. Wade finished with six turnovers, including a costly pick-pocket by Tony Allen in the final minute, while Rondo lost the ball only three times.

"[Rondo] was great," said Celtics coach Doc Rivers. "There was one stretch in the second quarter where he controlled the game. It was almost like Wade was in control at one end, Rondo at the other."

It's no secret that the Boston and Miami offenses go through Rondo and Wade, respectively. Wade entered Wednesday's game having made or assisted on 43 percent of the Heat's field goals this season -- the third-highest mark in the NBA behind LeBron James (49 percent) and Steve Nash (44 percent). Rondo was next on that list at 42 percent.

So there was Rondo when the Heat made a fourth-quarter charge. With Boston clinging to a two-point lead with 8:33 to play, Rondo fed Ray Allen for a trifecta that sparked a 9-1 burst; the lead grew to double digits when Rondo fed Kendrick Perkins with a no-look pass for a layup and an 88-78 advantage with 6:35 to play.

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