His left arm wrapped in a sleeve and dangling lifelessly by his side,Rajon Rondo broke for the basket and sailed past LeBron James for a layup.The dislocated elbow and stiff back weren’t going to stop him. Rondo still had one good arm — and his legs.The Celtics point guard had 11 assists in the game and a pair of one-armed baskets in the fourth quarter on Saturday night to lead Boston to a 97-81 victory over theMiami Heat in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.
“He showed he’s a really tough young individual,” said Kevin Garnett, who had 28 points and 18 rebounds — more than he had in the first two games combined. “I don’t know what he’s going to be like when he’s 35, but right now he’s playing pretty well.”
Miami leads the best-of-seven series 2-1, with Game 4 on Monday night in Boston.
Paul Pierce scored 27 for the defending East champions, who managed to avoid a 3-0 hole that no NBA team has ever overcome. But they came out of it with injuries to both point guards: Coach Doc Rivers said Rondo’s future availability is in question, and Delonte Westhad his bruised left shoulder wrapped at the end of the game.
“The playoffs are here. This is what it’s about: Bruises, whatever, you’ve got to keep on going,” West said. “I think that light clicked on for us today.”
Dwyane Wade had 23 points and seven assists, and Joel Anthony continued to contribute off the bench, scoring 12 with 11 rebounds. Playing in the building where his Cleveland career came to an end, spurring his free agency defection to Miami, James scored 15 points as he and Wade combined to make just 14 of 35 shots from the floor.
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