Boston, MA (SportsNetwork.com) - Rajon Rondo didn't have to wait long to go up against his former team.
Two weeks after making his Dallas Mavericks debut, Rondo put up a season-high 29 points to help his new to team in a 119-101 win over the Boston Celtics.
Rondo cemented his legacy as one of the great point guards in Celtics history during his nine-plus seasons there. He played a key role in Boston's NBA Championship in 2008 and finished fourth in franchise history in assists and third in steals after being dealt to Dallas in a four-player swap on Dec. 18.
In between the first and second quarters, a montage shown on the video board at TD Garden was followed by a prolonged standing ovation that nearly brought the four-time All-Star to tears.
"I just tried to stay focused," said Rondo. "I just wanted to stay locked in and listen to the coaches in the huddle, then go out and say thank you to the fans. I wasn't too keyed in on the video. I watched a couple glimpses, but I was trying to stay focused."
The touching tribute came after Rondo hung 15 first-quarter points on his former team, including three 3-pointers and a perfect 6-for-6 from the floor. His third triple came just moments before the opening period came to a close with Dallas in front, 31-17.
Rondo again connected from deep during a 7-3 run to start the second. Boston whittled the gap to 13 points at halftime, but only scored five minutes over the final 8:32 of the third.
Dallas led 92-64 after three, then stumbled early in the fourth as the Celtics embarked on a 23-5 run. That only got them within 97-87, however, and the Mavs held a double-digit lead the rest of the way.
Monta Ellis scored 22 points and Tyson Chandler grabbed 16 rebounds for the Mavericks, winners in four straight games. They are 5-2 since acquiring Rondo.
"It was a special day today," said Rondo. "I'm emotionally tired, I'm physically tired. I'm drained."
Avery Bradley led four Celtics in double figures with 22 points. Tyler Zeller posted 17 points and 10 rebounds for his third double-double of the season.
"We had some tough possessions that didn't go our way, and then we had some bad errors," said Celtics coach Brad Stevens.
Boston has lost five of six ... Jameer Nelson, Jae Crowder and Brandan Wright, the three players sent to Boston from Dallas in the Rondo deal, scored a combined 11 points on 4-for-15 shooting ... Dallas won the rebounding margin, 52-38 ... Dirk Nowitzki scored 17 points and Chandler Parsons had 13 for Dallas. Both finished with seven rebounds.