BOSTON As Rajon Rondo lay on the Garden floor, writhing in pain, it was hard to see that play out on Wednesday against Toronto and not have flashbacks of Game 3 of the Miami Heat playoff series when Rondo suffered a dislocated elbow and ultimately returned to the floor that same night.
The spill Rondo took in the third quarter of Boston's 96-73 win over Toronto hurt. But it wasn't anything close to the pain he experienced in dislocating his elbow last season.
"I knew what a dislocated elbow feels like," Rondo said. "It wasn't that, so I was thankful for that. But my wrist was throbbing."
Kevin Garnett was among those concerned when Rondo didn't bounce back up quickly.
"When he didn't pop right back up, it made everybody nervous; I was included," Garnett said.
Garnett was one of the first Celtics to speak with Rondo following the foul.
"Having dialogue with him, and he wasn't really having much of that it was a major concern," Garnett said.
Team officials said Rondo had X-rays taken on the wrist, and those results came back negative. Rondo is being listed as day-to-day by the Celtics.
After seeing Rondo take such a hard foul, head coach Doc Rivers didn't think he was hurt badly at first.
"I was laughing right afterwards," Rivers said. "I wasn't (concerned) at first because I thought he was trying to get the flagrant (foul call)."
He did get that call, and missed the first of his two free throws.
After the free throw attempts, Rondo left the game and did not return.
"I wanted to come back," Rondo said. "I knew we had it under control. The best thing for me to do was rest."
The C's, whose lead peaked at 22 in the third quarter, did just that as no Celtic played more than 28 minutes against the Raptors (4-11) who have now lost six straight.
Without question, the oddest part of the game statistically was Rondo becoming Paul Pierce-like with his scoring, and Pierce doing his best Rondo impersonation by racking up the assists. Rondo led all scorers with 21 points, while Pierce had eight points and a game-high seven assists.
"Paul kind of joked and told me, let's switch roles tonight," Rondo said. "He would make the plays, and I would put it in the basket. I was trying to stay aggressive the entire night. I wanted to pick and choose my spots. I think I did a good job."
Rivers has no concerns about Rondo, the co-leader in assists with Steve Nash, getting away from time to time at being primarily a playmaker.
"You want him to be aggressive most nights," Rivers said. "His assists are going to happen because he's a great passer. Tonight was just one of those nights; he was basically just scoring; wasn't getting assists. But it was good for the team."