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Rondo… The new Pearl Washington

04.08.09 at 11:49 pm ET

Stephon Marbury knows old-school point guard play. And he sees it every time he watches Rajon Rondo play.

On Wednesday night during a 106-104 nail-biter over the New Jersey Nets at TD Banknorth Garden, Rondo scored a team high 31 points on 10-of-15 shooting from the floor, while grabbing nine rebounds and dishing out five assists.

It seemed from Marbury’s standpoint, every time Rondo drove to the basket, he scored.

“The guy had [31 ]points and I think he shot all layups,” Marbury said. “He reminds me of Pearl Washington from what they said, back in the days. A guy who didn’t really shoot the jump shots, but just continued to get to the basket and dominated.”

There are cases around the NBA when the point guard looks to score, their team is usually in trouble. Such is not the case with Rajon Rondo and the Celtics. As a matter of fact, it may be just the opposite.

For the third straight game, Rondo scored at least 20 points in leading his team to victory, their fifth straight overall.

‘€œI’€™m pretty comfortable,” Rondo said. “I’€™m probably as comfortable as I’€™ve ever been these last five or six games, just knowing when to take a shot or when to pass it.’€

And Rondo believes this Celtics team, with Kevin Garnett and Leon Powe returning to practice next week, is getting in high gear for another playoff run.

‘€œWe’€™re as ready as we’€™re ever going to be,” Rondo said. “We’€™re on a roll right now, find a way to get win, regardless how close they are or blowouts, at the end of the day, we’€™re getting wins and that’€™s what counts.”

The Celtics are  now 12-1 when Rondo scores at least 20 points in a game this season following their Wednesday night win.

‘€œHe’€™s been great,” said captain Paul Pierce. “The last few games he’€™s just been scoring the ball pretty well and Rajon, if he’€™s able to score the ball like that, we’€™re going to be a tough team to beat because he takes so much pressure off of me and ray, especially with Kevin out. He goes out and has 30 points, I don’€™t know if that’€™s a career high or what, but takes a lot of pressure off. You look at me 10, and Ray 12, and we get the win.”

Rondo was also going up against All-Star point guard Devin Harris, and once again Rondo used it as motivation, holding his counterpart to 16 points on six-of-16 shooting.

‘€œWell he should,” Celtics coach Doc Rivers said of the motivation of the matchup. “I would assume ‘€˜Yes.’€™  You know, they’€™re so similar in a lot of ways and Devin made the all-star team, and it’€™s another guard, but it’€™s human nature.  As long as you do it inside the team frame, that’€™s fine by me.’€

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