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Celtics’ Rondo: Ankle injury won’t keep me out of Game 4

The series: 2-1, Celtics

Boston Celtics injured point guard Rajon Rondo  shoots three-point baskets during practice for the NBA Finals  at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Wednesday.</p>
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Boston Celtics injured point guard Rajon Rondo shoots three-point baskets during practice for the NBA Finals at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Wednesday.

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LOS ANGELES – Rajon Rondo side-shuffled down the floor during the Boston Celtics’ off-day stretching drills Wednesday, lagging behind the teammates he usually sprints right past.

When the time came to jump, Rondo stood in place, unable to participate because of the ankle injury that left him on the bench for most of the second half during Game 3 of the NBA finals.

The speedy point guard said he has no intention of missing Game 4 against the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday night, but he left open the possibility that he wouldn’t be effective enough to help his team.

“Nobody in this league is 100 percent, but I’m sure I’ll play,” he said. “There’s no way I’m going to miss the game, probably. I don’t want to hurt the team and go out there and not give it my all, but I think I’m sure I’ll be playing tomorrow night.”

Wearing a hard plastic brace on his left ankle – and, when talking to reporters, no shoes – Rondo described the injury as a bone bruise. He felt less pain after treatment with ice and a night of rest, and he expects to feel even better with another 24 hours to heal.

“I can walk on it,” Rondo said, adding that he wouldn’t be able to wear that brace during the game.

Rondo rolled his ankle early in the third quarter on Tuesday night, when the Lakers won 87-81 to trim their deficit in the best-of-seven series to 2-1. He returned in the fourth quarter for 3 1/2 minutes and made a basket to give him eight points in the game.

In Game 3, the Celtics made up for Rondo’s absence with backups Eddie House and Sam Cassell. Coach Doc Rivers said he would also consider using Tony Allen at point guard because of his success covering Kobe Bryant during the regular season.

“It’s the finals. I don’t want to hold anything back,” Rondo said. “If I’m going out there at 50 percent, I don’t want to hurt the team. Eddie and Sam do a great job of running the team, so I’ll let them have it.”



> Thursday: Celtics at Lakers, 6 p.m., ABC. Boston leads series, 2-1.

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