BOSTON — Rajon Rondo delivered in every way imaginable for the Boston Celtics on Friday as they knocked off the red-hot Brooklyn Nets, 91-84.
Rondo finished with another near triple-double, scoring 20 points to go with nine assists and seven rebounds.
The four time All-Star set the tone with a strong first quarter in which the Celtics Captain seemed to get to any spot he wanted to, displaying the newest tool in his treasure trove of talents: the 3-ball.
In the first, Rondo made a trio of 3-pointers as part of a 13-point quarter which represented half of Boston's total production that quarter.
Even with Rondo scoring well, the Nets only trailed by six (26-20) after the first. Keeping them in the game early on was former Celtic Paul Pierce with eight first-quarter points.
Pierce finished with 10 points while the Nets were led by Joe Johnson's game-high 21 points.
Boston was able to increase its cushion in the second quarter with a 15-2 run early in the quarter that gave them a 17-point (41-24) lead.
That double-digit lead was able to be maintained the rest of the quarter which ended with Boston ahead 53-41 at the half.
Brooklyn, which came in having won four in a row, looked nothing like one of the hottest teams in the NBA.
The Nets were especially cold from the perimeter as they missed their first 17 3-pointers. They would finish 4-for-30 on 3s while the Celtics were a decent 8-for-21.
But the Nets began to make things interesting in the third, cutting Boston's lead to as little as 70-62 following a 3-pointer by Andray Blatche.
He would finish with 11 points off the Brooklyn bench.
The Nets continued on the comeback trail, cutting the Celtics lead to as little as 70-68 following a free throw by Johnson.
However, Boston was able to show some late-quarter execution that allowed them to close out the quarter with an 8-2 run and lead 78-70 going into the fourth quarter.