There is a Twitter account as of last evening named @RondosLeftElbow.
The Celtics defeated the Heat Saturday evening in Game 3 of their series 97-81. Rarely have the number of storylines come close to the number of points scored but this was such an occasion…including Rajon Rondo’s left elbow. ESPN’s review and video highlights including why an elbow has a Twitter account here.
Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett started the game as if they had turned back time, Pierce hitting off-balance jumpers and Garnett aggressive and finishing at both ends. Boston was up double-digits early but by six minutes remaining in the first half the Heat managed to:
1. Diffuse the crowd energy and withstand Pierce and Garnett.
2. Get 19 points from their bench.
3. Relocate Ray Allen to the Boston bench with 3 fouls.
4. All survive not being run over by the largest version of Shaquille O’Neal yet.
5. Lead the game by 2.
The Heat led at half 46-44, even with their Big Three headed towards their lowest combined scoring output of the year.
With ten minutes left in the third quarter the ABC broadcast team noted Rondo had contributed 0 points and 5 turnovers to that point. While his 8 assists were noteworthy it was consensus he needed to step up…even while Boston had begun to assert itself once more and taken control.
Instead, he fell down. Hard. His left arm asked to do something not designed to do in breaking his fall.
Fortunately for Boston, Pierce and Garnett had all their body parts intact and continued to lead the Celts in outscoring Miami 28-15 for the third. The Heat were a chilly 5 of 19 from the floor and looked disengaged.
Rondo spent the balance of his third quarter dislocated – elbow included – but then returned court side to a thunderous, non-believing ovation from the Boston faithful, fully relieved and convinced this titanic match-up with Miami would be competitive after all. Rondo played with one arm down the stretch but didn’t need to be out there…at least on this night. How the injury will affect the balance of the series is very much yet to be determined.
Garnett finished with 28 points and 18 boards, Pierce 27 points. Stats don’t lie in this one. The Celtics came out of the locker room at half on fire – as they did at the start of the game – but the Heat seemed to wait for Boston to extinguish themselves.
Including this night, three of Miami’s four fewest points scored on the road in a game this season have happened in Beantown. It was mentioned post-game Chris Bosh may have had a pinched nerve in his neck. If that was the case the Heat would have been better served he taken the night off in street clothes instead of wearing his uni. Six points, five rebounds, zero presence.
Yet, Miami did not seem to handle the fact two halves would be required in this one. They appeared to hope Boston would fold or slow down as they did in Games 1 & 2, but they did not. Game 4 comes quickly on Monday. Not much time for these teams to heal mentally or physically…having completed another chapter in an already memorable, must-see series.