When Danny Ainge made official on The Big Show Thursday afternoon what everyone suspected – that Rajon Rondo was going to be out for “a few weeks” – it would have been easy for the Celtics to say, enough. No more.



PAUL FLANNERY

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Kevin Garnett inspired the weary and wounded Celtics with 17 points and 14 rebounds in a 102-90 win over the Atlanta Hawks at TD Garden on Thursday night. The victory extended Boston's winning streak to 12, matching their longest since they set the franchise record of 19 back in the 2008-09 season. Glen Davis had 18 points off a shorthanded Celtics bench. 

 

The Celtics will not only be without Rajon Rondo Thursday against the Hawks, they will also be missing the services of Shaquille O'Neal for the fourth straight game, leaving the Celtics with just 10 players in uniform. Celtics president Danny Ainge told The Big Show Thursday afternoon that Rondo will be out for a couple of weeks.

 Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge made his weekly appearance on The Big Show, noting that the C's will be without point guard Rajon Rondo for some time after he sprained his ankle during Wednesday's victory over the Knicks. 

 

"Rajon, I think, will be out for a couple of weeks, anyway," Ainge said.

 

The first returns of 2011 NBA All-Star balloting were released Thursday. A pair of Celtics rank highly among vote-getters, as Rajon Rondo (497,141 votes) stands second among Eastern Conference guards and Kevin Garnett (456,111) is second among Eastern Conference forwards. If both hold their position in the voting, it would be the second All-Star appearance (and first start) for Rondo and Garnett's 14th selection.

 

Former Celtics great and current TNT analyst Kevin McHale was a guest on the Dennis and Callahan show Thursday morning. McHale was first asked about New York Knicks and Amare Stoudemire. The Celtics defeated the Knicks in a 118-116 thriller on Wednesday night despite 39 points and 10 rebounds from Stoudemire, who has played at an MVP level so far this season. McHale admits some surprise at how well Stoudemire has fit in with the Knicks.

 

NEW YORK – After all the shots, all the game-winners, all the times Paul Pierce has done what he wound up doing to the Knicks Wednesday night, he still gets nervous.



PAUL FLANNERY

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NEW YORK -- Another day, another injury for Rajon Rondo, who sprained his left ankle early in the fourth quarter Wednesday against the Knicks. Rondo rolled his ankle when he tried to plant his foot on a cut. He limped off the court, but returned later in the game. In the locker room after the Celtics 118-116 victory, Rondo was clearly in pain, but he said he would play against the Hawks Thursday. "I expect to play," he said.

 

In a battle of two streaking Atlantic Division foes, something had to give.

 

In a game worthy of the notion that there is, in fact, a budding rivalry between the Celtics -- winners of 10 straight entering Wednesday -- and the Knicks (who had reeled off eight straight W's), the Celtics mounted a furious fourth-quarter charge to claim a 118-116 victory at Madison Square Garden. Paul Pierce dropped a fadeaway jumper over Amar'e Stoudemire with 0.4 seconds left to deliver a road victory to the Celtics.

 

According to multiple reports, Celtics center Shaquille O'Neal will miss Wednesday's game against the Knicks with a right calf injury.

 

O'Neal, averaging 11.2 points and 6.4 rebounds this season, has missed the last two games with the injury. It is unknown if he will miss Thursday's game vs. Atlanta. It is believed that Semih Erden will stay in the starting lineup against a Knicks team that features Amare Stoudemire at center.

 

For more Celtics news visit the team page at weei.com/celtics.