ORLANDO – It was a scary scene played out at the Amway Center on Saturday night.
Rajon Rondo, the prized point guard who the Mavs gave up plenty to acquire in a Dec. 18 trade with Boston, lay down on the court for several minutes holding his face. Rondo’s face had an inadvertent collision with the knee of teammate Richard Jefferson with 10:22 left in the first period, and the talent-laden playmaker didn’t fare too well.
Eventually, Rondo got up and walked to the locker room on his own powers with a blooded towel over his face. The conclusion: He suffered a head injury, did not return to the game and will be evaluated by the Mavs’ doctors when they return to Dallas.
"I didn’t see the whole thing, but then I saw the replay and it looked completely ugly,’’ said Dirk Nowitzki, who finished with 11 points in the Mavs’ 108-93 triumph over Orlando. "I saw RJ even has a bruise on his knee, so that tells you how hard, unfortunately, he hit him.
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"But he’s a tough kid, so the docs will check him out and then we’ll go from there. But that was as hard of a hit as I’ve seen in this league.’’
It is not known if Rondo suffered a concussion and if he’ll have to go through the NBA-mandated concussion protocol before he can return to the court. Rondo had already left the locker room by the time it opened for media availability.
"He got hit in the head and he’s going to get checked out by our doctors back home,’’ coach Rick Carlisle said. "When there’s an update, we’ll let you know what it is.’’
Rondo’s injury had to shake up the Mavs, who improved to 32-17 on the season and won for the second straight game after losing four in a row.
"It was a really bad collision,’’ said Tyson Chandler, who contributed 20 points and nine boards. "I don’t know what the prognosis is, but I know he’s pretty beat up in there – we’ll see.’’