Rondo ejected for referee bump, Game 2 status uncertain

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Rondo ejected for referee bump, Game 2 status uncertain

ATLANTA The Boston Celtics may be on the verge of taking yet another hit to their backcourt, with Rajon Rondo's uncertain availability for Game 2 of their best-of-seven playoff series with the Atlanta Hawks.

In Sunday's 83-74 Game 1 loss to the Hawks, Rondo was ejected with 41 seconds to play and the Celtics trailing by four at the time.

There was a mad scramble for the ball before Brandon Bass was whistled for his sixth foul.

Rondo objected to the call, made his displeasure known to official Marc Davis and then made contact with Davis. Moments later, it was announced that Rondo had been ejected but it wasn't clear if the ejection came before the contact with Davis or after.

Regardless, the contact with Davis will be reviewed by the league office which may decide to suspend him for Game 2 against the Hawks on Tuesday.

"Obviously, I was upset at the call," Rondo said afterward. "I said some words to Marc. I deserved the first tech. As I was walking, I thought he stopped and my momentum carried me into him; I think I even tripped on his foot. I didn't intentionally chest-bump him."

The NBA will likely contact Rondo at some point on Monday to get his version of what happened before deciding on whether he will be suspended.

If he is suspended, it'll be the second time this season Rondo has had to miss time because of a suspension.

Earlier this season, Rondo was suspended for two games after he threw a basketball at an official.

"It's out of my control," Rondo said. "Obviously, I want to be there for my teammates. But other than that, I have no control right now."

Bradley locked in during return to Celtics lineup vs. Hornets

Bradley locked in during return to Celtics lineup vs. Hornets

BOSTON – When you look at Avery Bradley’s growth this season, seeing the tremendous strides he has made offensively is clear.

But at the heart of Bradley’s game remains a desire to dominate a matchup as a defender, something that was alive and well on Monday as he made his return to the floor after missing the four previous games with an Achilles strain.

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Bradley’s defense would prove instrumental in Boston’s 108-98 win over the Charlotte Hornets on Monday.

He was 2-for-9 from the field and played nearly 33 minutes against Hornets which is just a couple minutes under his season average of court time.

Usually he’s responsible for providing a boost at both ends of the floor.

But considering his long lay-off, it was clear early on that he was locked in defensively more so than looking to get back on track shooting the ball.

“You take any type of games off in this league, your rhythm and all that you gotta get it back,” said Boston’s Jae Crowder.

Even though his shots weren’t falling, Bradley was on top of his game defensively while guarding 6-foot-8 Nicolas Batum who is six inches taller but never was a factor on Monday.

Batum finished with eight points on 2-for-11 shooting from the field.

Celtics head coach Brad Stevens liked what he got out of Bradley in his return to action.

“I thought he (Bradley) was great,” Stevens told CSNNE.com. “He did everything we needed him to do. We knew there would be a little bit of rust (shooting the ball), but that’s part of you playing your way back into it.”

As far as Bradley’s stifling defense on Batum, Stevens said, “You have to do that against Batum. I thought Avery did a really good job of that. It’s a hard matchup no matter what way you go. Batum, giving up inches to him. He (Bradley) was there on the catch all night.”

And as Bradley gradually gets back into a flow, he’ll regain the form offensively that made him one of the NBA’s better two-way players this season.