LOS ANGELES Prior to Monday's game against the Los Angeles Clippers, Boston Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge was emphatic in telling CSNNE.com that Rajon Rondo would not be traded prior to Thursday's 3 p.m. deadline.
And just a couple hours later, you saw why.
Even though Ray Allen andPaul Pierce were carrying the scoring load, and Kevin Garnett more than held his own around the basket, it was Rondo's floor game that set the tone for Boston's 94-85 win.
Rondo had 12 points and 10 assists, numbers that were on par with Clippers guard Chris Paul (14 points, five assists).
Monday's game was the first time Rondo faced off against Paul, the only player the C's made a serious run at trading Rondo for.
In a matchup that many expected would produce some fireworks, it was their teammates that seemed to be a bit chippy.
The first half featured a total of five technical fouls called. And that doesn't include the stare-downs and Kendrick Perkins-like mean mugs exchanged between Blake Griffin and just about every big man on the Celtics roster - all three of them.
In the fourth, it appeared as though it would be another fourth quarter collapse by the Celtics, similar to what happened in their 3-point loss to the Lakers on Sunday.
The Celtics pulled ahead 71-63 in the fourth following a 3-point play by Kevin Garnett. The Clippers responded with an 8-2 spurt that was sparked by Chris Paul.
Boston fell behind 78-74, but closed out the game with 20-7 run for the win.