WASHINGTON — As a precautionary measure, the Celtics rested point guard Rajon Rondo for Wednesday night’s 113-111 overtime win against the Wizards because it was the second of a back-to-back set.
Rondo, who is easing his way back into the lineup after missing nearly a year following a knee injury, played 25:43 Tuesday night in the Celtics’ loss to the Heat in Miami, his most in the three games since returning to the court.
Rondo apparently wanted to play Wednesday night, but the Celtics decided it would be better for him to sit out. “It was more about, let’s make sure, again, to be very, very smart about this,” coach Brad Stevens said before the game.
Stevens added that in the preseason, the team didn’t play Gerald Wallace in the second game of back-to-backs, and “this is Rondo’s preseason right now. Not fair to him that it happens in the middle of January, but that’s the way it goes.”
The Celtics also were without the other half of their starting backcourt, Avery Bradley, who suffered a sprained right ankle against the Heat.
Bradley, who wore a boot on that foot and was on crutches as he entered the Verizon Center, is expected to miss up to two weeks, Stevens said.
“Everything I’ve been told, it’s a sprain, but as we saw with Kelly’s sprain, those can be significant,” Stevens said, referencing how forward Kelly Olynyk missed 10 games with a sprain earlier this season.
The Celtics also were without reserve guard Jerryd Bayless, who suffered a sprained left big toe Sunday vs. Orlando. Stevens said Bayless will be day-to-day starting Friday, when the Celtics play Oklahoma City at TD Garden.
Blue on boardWith such a thinned down backcourt, the Celtics signed guard Vander Blue to a 10-day contract. He scored 2 points and had an assist in four mintues Wednesday night.
Blue drove from Delaware, where he was playing with the NBA Development League’s Delaware 87ers.
“I was really excited about the opportunity to come here and be able to play for such a great organization and to make my dream come true,” Blue said. “I’m ready to get to work now.”
Blue, a 6-foot-5-inch former Marquette standout who went undrafted in 2013, played in four games with the 87ers this season, averaging 19.0 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 2.3 assists in 30.5 minutes per game.
“Vander is a tough kid,” Stevens said. “He’s a guy that’s a competitor.”
“It’s a great opportunity for me,” Blue said. “A lot of guys can’t say they get called up from the D-League and, better yet, say they had a chance to play. They have a lot of guys down right now and they need me to come in and produce.”
Blue had a pre-draft workout in Waltham.
“It was a really good workout,” Blue recalled. “It was a really tough workout. I had a good conversation with Danny [Ainge] afterwards. We connected really well. He said, ‘You never know, we may see each other again.’”
Blue attended training camp with the Philadelphia 76ers before being a late cut. He signed to play in Israel after that, but he played there only briefly before joining the 87ers.
“It’s been a journey for me,” Blue said. “I’ve had one incredible story, but I just want to keep it going.”
Blue is the second guard on the Celtics’ roster who is on a 10-day contract. The team signed Chris Johnson to a 10-day deal last Friday.
Stevens is familiar with both players from their college days — and especially with Blue, as the two were on opposite sides during the 2013 NCAA Tournament, which ultimately marked Stevens’s final game as the Butler head coach.
Stevens’s sixth-seeded Bulldogs faced third-seeded Marquette in the second round, and Blue scored 19 of his 29 points in the second half to help his team rally back and pull off a 74-72 win.
“He hasn’t brought it up yet,” Blue said with a smile, referencing Stevens. “We talked about [Marquette] coach Buzz [Williams], but I’m pretty sure it’s going to come up soon.”
Said Stevens, “He made 3s against us both times we played him last year and made big, big shots, was not scared of the moment.”
Claws on them
The Celtics’ D-League team, the Maine Red Claws, completed a four-team deal in which they’ll acquire forward Daniel Orton from Tulsa and guard Tyler Brown from Texas.
Orton, a 6-10, 255-pound center, was a 2010 draft pick by the Magic and a former Kentucky standout. He played in 31 D-League games over the last two seasons, averaging 12.4 points and 7.4 rebounds.
Brown, a 6-4 guard, recently played five games in France after playing in the Las Vegas Summer League with the Spurs. In 2013, Brown went undrafted out of Illinois State, where he played two seasons.