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Celtics' Rajon Rondo calls out Heat's Dwyane Wade for 'dirty plays'

By Ben Golliver

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The verbal battle between the Heat and Celtics continued Thursday. And as far as NBA beefs go, it's fairly entertaining.

During the closing minute of the Heat's season-opening victory over the Celtics, Rajon Rondo was hit with a flagrant foul for grabbing Dwyane Wade near the neck to thwart a drive.

“That was a punk play,” Wade said afterward. “He clotheslined me with two arms.”

Considering the history between the two, Rondo wasn't about to hear that assessment without issuing a response.

ESPNBoston.com reports that Rondo swiped back at Wade.

"I mean, I don't think it was a hard foul," said Rondo. "[Wade] sold it a little bit, and that's basketball. They were up, he drove to the hole, I didn't want to give up a layup. Simple as that. I didn't yank him down, or, dirty plays that you've seen him play in the past. So that's what it is."

During Game 3 of the 2011 Eastern Conference semifinals, Rondo and Wade got into an ugly tie-up that ended with Rondo suffering a dislocated elbow.

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As ESPNBoston.com noted, Celtics coach Doc Rivers was ready to chalk this up as an eye for an eye.

Appearing Thursday on Boston sports radio WEEI, Rivers noted that Wade has "given a lot of hard fouls" in his career and pointed out that Rondo's gruesome elbow injury during the 2011 playoffs was "created by Dwyane Wade."

Added Rivers: "I don't think [Rondo's flagrant] was a 'punk' move unless [Wade's foul] was, too."

Mark your calendars: the Celtics host the Heat on Jan. 27.t Tha's not only Ray Allen's return to TD Garden, it's also the next time Rondo and Wade will take the court together. More fireworks to come, for sure.

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