Rondo received a huge cheer when he was introduced before the game. The public address announcer called his name last, as the Celtics' captain and only remaining star. Rondo then went to mid-court to receive a community service award.
The 6-foot-1 point guard was injured on Jan. 25, 2013. He had gradually been working himself back into shape until doctors pronounced him ready to play 18-20 minutes per game.
Rondo played 4 minutes, 56 seconds in the first quarter, registering one rebound and missing two shots. He shot 4 for 5 in the second quarter, when he played about five minutes.
The four-time All-Star did not have an assist in the first half, though several good passes were wasted when his teammates missed shots.
The crowd began anticipating Rondo's return right before introductions, when the video monitor started showing clips from him working out to Van Halen's "Right Now." The cheering grew louder when the scoreboard said, "No. 9 Returns Tonight."