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Doc on Rondo’s thievery: ‘He does have a gift’

03.26.10 at 8:00 pm ET
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The thing that has impressed Doc Rivers the most this year about Rajon Rondo’s single-season steals record is not the number itself but the effort behind it.

“That means he’s a better defender,” Rivers said. “You can lead the league in steals and not gamble all time. You can be solid and get a lot of steals and I think that’s what he’s done. With Rajon, you want to make sure he doesn’t hurt the team but he does have a gift and you always want to play to that gift as long as he’s not hurting the team.”

Rondo was credited with a steal midway through the second quarter, his 168th of the season, helping him pass Rick Fox for the all-time single-season Celtics mark. He had one more before halftime to give him 169.

He also had six assists in the first quarter to pass Sherman Douglas for second on the Celtics all-time single-season assist list with 684.

It appeared Rondo also stole the ball less than a minute into Friday’s game against Sacramento, which would have given him 168 for the season and a new single-season steals mark, passing Fox’s old mark of 167 in the 1996-97 season. But that steal was credited to Ray Allen, keeping Rondo momentarily tied with Fox.

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