Only one team in the NBA holds the distinction of beating the two heavyweights. The Indiana Pacers hold that title over the Celtics and Lakers in the early season, but coming into Wednesday night's game versus the Celtics, there was only one team riding a much bigger high.
The Boston Celtics, winners of nine straight, were a league best 17-2 and the defending NBA champions coming into the game. Indiana was flying across the country after a celebrated last second win over the Lakers. Wednesday night's game though belonged to Boston from start to finish.
The way that point guard Rajon Rondo played from the beginning made it so there was not a chance that the Celtics would lose as he finished the game with his first career triple-double with 16 points, 17 assists, and 13 rebounds in a 114-96 victory.
Ray Allen chipped in with a game-high 31 points, including six three-pointers. Kevin Garnett had 26 points and 14 rebounds, while center Kendrick Perkins followed with 16 points and 10 boards.
Rondo was the story though. His speed and quickness, along with his playmaking abilities gave him the look as a player who was taking and doing whatever he wanted on the floor.
“He was amazing,” Garnett said. “It was like there was three Rondos. I looked up and it came off the rim and he is grabbing a rebound, then I got back on defense and he beat me back. He was everywhere tonight.”
Even with captain Paul Pierce struggling in the first half, the C's held a 57-51 advantage. It was capped off by a 31-23 third quarter surge led by Rondo and Allen as the home team pulled away rather easily.
“They really had too many weapons for us tonight,” ex Celtics, and current Pacers coach Jim O’Brien said. “They’re awful difficult to beat. That’s why they’re the world champs.”
Danny Granger led the Pacers with 20 points, and Troy Murphy added 10 points and 10 rebounds.