BOSTON (CBS) – After having to sit and watch Game 2 on TV, Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo is ready to return for Friday’s Game 3 in Boston against the Atlanta Hawks.

Rondo was suspended for Thursday’s Game 2 win in Atlanta for bumping referee Marc Davis in the fourth quarter of Game 1. His teammates came through without him, and he was very thankful for that.

“I ran down the huddle and gave KG the first hug. I told him ‘thank you, I appreciate everything you guys have done for me,’” Rondo said Thursday morning from the Celtics practice facility in Waltham. “They obviously won it for themselves but they told me we got this one for you. I felt good, it felt like I was a part of it, and it changed the series.”

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When asked if he felt like he let the team down, Rondo responded with a sharp “No. Do you think I let the team down?”

The 26-year-old was even more defensive when asked if he had anything to prove come Friday night.

“I don’t have anything to prove. Why would I have anything to prove? I just want to win, that’s it,” he said. “I’m confused about why you guys think I have anything to prove. This is a game I’ve been playing my entire life. The world knows what I can do. I’m just going to go out there and play, do what I do best; try to be the best point guard in the NBA.”

Rondo Has Nothing To Prove: 

But he certainly took something from the ordeal.

“Just try not to let my emotions get the best of me. I’m an emotional player and I try to keep my composure and my emotions to myself, but it was a heat of the battle moment. I wanted to win, people make mistakes.”

“The end result was all that matters. If it would have been a different result it would have been difficult,” he said. “But since we won, it felt like we won the series already.”

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The Celtics haven’t won the series yet though, and they’ll be relying heavily on Rondo to make up for lost time. And even with the spotlight on — both from the fans and referees — Rondo won’t be approaching Game 3 any differently.

“It’s just a game we play. I’m going to play the same way I play every night,” Rondo said. “In hockey a guy is celebrated when he does something crazy, but obviously this is a different sport. That’s part of it. You learn from your mistakes. It’s not the end of the world. I only got suspended one game. The great thing about it is the series is 1-1 and we’re in Boston.”

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