Celtics’ Rondo tears ACL, out for season

BOSTON — Boston Celtics star Rajon Rondo has torn his anterior cruciate ligament and will miss the rest of the season.

The team made the announcement during Sunday’s 100-98 double-overtime win over the Miami Heat. The victory in the nationally televised game snapped a losing streak that had reached six games despite back-to-back triple-doubles by the point guard who had been elected to start for the East in the Feb. 17 All-Star game in Houston.

“We’ve just got to rally around each other,” Paul Pierce said after the game. “I feel for him. He was having such a good season. It’s disappointing news.”

As Celtics players walked off the court through a tunnel toward their locker room, Rondo, dressed in street clothes, greeted them.

Rondo injured his right knee in Friday night’s double-overtime loss in Atlanta, a game in which the Celtics blew a 27-point lead. He reported to the TD Garden on Sunday for a pregame shootaround but was taken to a hospital after complaining of knee pain.

The initial report was a hyperextended knee but tests showed the ACL tear, an injury that usually takes up to a year for recovery. Surgery had not been scheduled as of Sunday afternoon, said team spokesman Brian Olive, who confirmed that Rondo’s season was over.

Rondo was averaging career highs of 13.7 points and 5.6 rebounds along with 11.1 assists this season. Still, the Celtics struggled to remain at .500, entering the day with a 20-23 record to hold the eighth and final spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race.

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