January 02, 2015

BOSTON (AP) Rajon Rondo returned to TD Garden with the Dallas Mavericks and put on a show like he never did with the Celtics.

The former Boston captain scored a career-high 15 first-quarter points and made his first seven shots in the first half - four from 3-point range. By halftime, he was 7-for-10 shooting but he also had an assist and three rebounds while leading the Mavericks to a double-digit lead.

A four-time All-Star who was the point guard on Boston's 2008 NBA championship team, Rondo was traded to Dallas last month for draft picks that could help rebuild the once-proud franchise - the only team he had ever played for.

Just 15 days later, he was back.

Rondo received a lengthy ovation when he was introduced in the pregame warmups, and then quickly went to work. He knocked the ball loose from Jared Sullinger on Boston's first possession, took a handoff from Tyson Chandler and went the length of the floor for a layup.

He followed that with a pair of 3-pointers and another layup - scoring the first 10 Mavericks points - before assisting on Dirk Nowitzki's jumper. Rondo went to the bench for four minutes and came back in to hit a runner and another 3-pointer at the end of the quarter to give Dallas a 31-17 lead.

A video before the second period was a collection of Rondo's greatest passes, a few key shots and a couple of defensive moves as well. It ended with a shot of the 2008 championship banner - the 17th in franchise history - and a picture of him hugging the golden trophy along with the caption, ''Thank You Rajon!''

Both teams applauded as he walked onto the court to wave to the crowd.

Rondo, 28, was the 21st overall pick out of Kentucky in 2006 and became the point guard for an NBA champion in his second year, after Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett joined Paul Pierce in Boston. Due to be a free agent at the end of the season, Rondo was reportedly expecting a contract at or near the NBA maximum.

Rondo has averaged 11 points, 8.5 assists and 4.7 rebounds over his career.

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