February 7, 2016 | 8:11 pm EST Update
Rondo found more well-wishers lingering outside the Sacramento locker room when he was the final player to head to the team bus. He said he still keeps in touch with those who were here with him longest and wished the team well moving forward. “I sent Avery a text after the big shot he made the other day [in Cleveland],” said Rondo. “My young guys Kelly [Olynyk], Jared [Sullinger]. A lot of these guys are my rookies. So it’s good to see these guys playing well. I wish them health and happiness and to continue to play and try to take the East.”
Even before the Celtics hung 46 first-quarter and 74 first-half points on his team, Kings coach George Karl gushed about them. Karl may be running low on supporters in Sacramento — at least in the team’s front office — but he’s winning over supporters in Boston (or maybe just atoning for his post-world championships verbal sparring with Paul Pierce back in 2002). “Coach Stevens does a great job of pushing buttons and keeping everyone highly motivated,” said Karl. “They’re a fun team. I watched three films on them. The Cleveland game — because we play Cleveland [Monday] — [and] I’ll tell you what, they have a chance against Cleveland.”
Jared Dudley had put together strong resumes in previous years, but he believed this season was his best chance to earn an invitation to the NBA’s three-point contest. He’s been in the top three in three-point percentage for nearly the entire year, currently sits third at 46.4 percent, and, unlike in other seasons, he’s started most of his team’s games. He wasn’t a star, but he thought his performance warranted a selection. But the 30-year-old Wizards forward wasn’t among the eight chosen for the event, which is scheduled for Saturday night in Toronto. “It’s something I would’ve done,” said Dudley, who is 71 of 153 from beyond the arc in 48 games this season. “I know the politic thing. I just thought that when you’re top three or top five in three-point [shooting], usually that outweighs it.