WALTHAM, Mass. — Jared Sullinger does not have a free meal coming his way courtesy of Rajon Rondo, the rookie forward said Tuesday, even if Sullinger’s jump shot with 51 seconds left on Sunday just barely enabled the point guard to extend his streak to 34 straight games with double-digit assists.
If anyone took issue with Celtics coach Doc Rivers‘ decision to keep Rondo in the game into the closing seconds so his point guard could get that elusive 10th assist, the man who hit the critical shot was not one of them. In Sullinger’s mind, making the extra effort to extend the streak was a small gesture compared to all that Rondo does for his teammates every game.
“First of all, you’ve got to pay respect to Rondo for what he does for this basketball team,” Sullinger said. “He gets a lot of people open shots, so he deserves that streak. I thought that was amazing that Doc did that for him. Like I said, he deserves it for what he does for us and how he gets us open shots and makes the game a lot easier. He deserves something like that. I didn’t mind that at all. I was kind of happy he did it.”
Rivers said he was unclear on precisely what the streak was, but because reporters have asked him about it so often recently, he knew that Rondo had some type of streak going that involved getting at least 10 assists. That was why he left Rondo on the floor until there were 16 seconds left in the game.
Rondo is chasing Magic Johnson‘s record of 46 straight games with double-digit assists. John Stockton holds the second-longest streak at 37 games.
Rondo and the Celtics face the Spurs on Wednesday and come back from their one-day holiday to host the Thunder on Friday. Both of those teams have quality point guards in Tony Parker and Russell Westbrook, respectively, so Rondo could find it even harder to continue his streak.