BOSTON (AP) — Rajon Rondo scored 17 points with 12 assists and 10 rebounds on Monday night to lead the Boston Celtics to a 100-89 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats.
It was Rondo’s third triple-double of the season and the 26th of his career, including playoffs.
Paul Pierce scored 19 and Avery Bradley added 16 for Boston, which won for a season-high sixth consecutive game. Kevin Garnett, who needed 13 points to tie Patrick Ewing for 16th on the NBA’s career scoring list, was 2 for 11 from the field and scored just seven points to go with his 10 rebounds.
Hakim Warrick and Ramon Sessions had 16 points apiece for the Bobcats, who lost their third straight and their 23rd in the last 25 games since opening the season 7-5. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist scored 10 with eight rebounds.
The Celtics scored 13 of the game’s first 15 points and never trailed. Rondo was responsible for Boston’s first 19 points, with five assists and seven points in the opening 6:17.
Boston led by as many as 18 in the second quarter before the Bobcats went on a 9-1 run, getting seven points from Kidd-Gilchrist. Charlotte scored 13 of the first 15 points in the second half to tie it on Warrick’s steal that set up a dunk by Kidd-Gilchrist.
But the Celtics scored the next seven points, getting a pair of free throws from Kevin Garnett and, after Rondo blocked Bismack Biyombo’s shot, Jared Sullinger made a hook shot. Brandon Bass stole an errant pass by Walker and Bradley hit a 3-pointer to make it 65-58.
The Bobcats never got within one possession again.
NOTES: Celtics F Chris Wilcox, who is out with a sprained right thumb, did a video chat before the game with fans in Afghanistan. ... The Celtics won all three meetings between the teams last year. ... Bobcats G Kemba Walker scored 12 points. He has reached double figures in scoring in 34 of 37 games.