LOS ANGELES -- Our friends at Elias Sports Bureau passed along some noteworthy numbers in advance of Monday's Celtics-Clippers battle (ESPN, 10:30 p.m.). Here's a few that jumped out (with a hefty focus on the Rajon Rondo vs. Chris Paul matchup):
* Rondo is averaging 9.6 points per game on the second night of back-to-backs, compared to his 15.3 ppg average in all other games this season. Rondo’s 5.7 ppg decrease in the second of back-to-back games this season is the largest among NBA players who have played at least five pairs of games on consecutive days.
* Paul’s scoring average has increased in each subsequent quarters of games this season: 4.1 ppg in the first; 4.4 in the second; 4.9 in the third; and 6.5 in the fourth. Paul has the second-highest fourth-quarter scoring average in the NBA, behind only Kobe Bryant (6.9 ppg).
* Paul has registered at least one steal in each of the 34 games he’s played this season and in 43 straight games dating back to last season (the longest current streak for any NBA player)... He has also recorded at least one steal in 90.4 percent of the games he’s played during his NBA career. That’s the highest percentage of its kind since the league began tracking steals in 1973. The only other NBA player to record steals in at least 90 percent of his games over that span (minimum: 10 games) was Alvin Robertson (90.1 percent).
* Paul’s total of 29 alley-oop assists this season ranks him second in the league to John Wall (32). Paul had only half as many alley-oop assists all of last season with the Hornets (12). DeAndre Jordan (18) and Blake Griffin (11) have been the recipients of Paul’s alley-oop passes.
* Paul has assisted on 97 field goals by Blake Griffin this season. The only NBA players with that many assists on buckets by a particular teammate are Steve Nash (130 assists to Marcin Gortat) and Russell Westbrook (117 assists to Kevin Durant).
* Only Oklahoma City (233) and Washington (231) have more dunks this season than the Clippers (228). The league’s individual leaders are Blake Griffin (114), Dwight Howard (110), JaVale McGee (86), DeAndre Jordan (83) and Andrew Bynum (83).