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

The thing that has impressed Doc Rivers [1] 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 [2] 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 [3], keeping Rondo momentarily tied with Fox.