Boston Celtics guard Rajon Rondo didn’t let a badly dislocated left elbow stop him from returning to the court in the third quarter and helping Boston hold off the Miami Heat, 97-81, in game 3 of their second-round series.

Rondo got tangled up with Heat guard Dwyane Wade and both fell to the floor, but Rondo got the worst of the tumble, landing awkwardly on his left elbow. He left the game but came back in the fourth quarter as Boston was putting the final touches on a blowout victory that cut into Miami’s series lead to 2-1.

“I knew right away something was wrong when I went down, but thank God for Kevin , because I was having trouble breathing,” said Rondo, finishing with a game-high 11 assists. “I was worried about my elbow, but I was having trouble breathing. I just kept hearing him tell me to breathe. Everything else took care of itself.”

Garnett scored a team-high 28 points and 18 rebounds, and said he was amazed by Rondo’s toughness.

“I’ve seen play through some ,” Garnett told reporters after the game. “I’m not going to go through the list of injuries that you all are unaware of. I’m not going to put him out there like that, but I’ve seen him play through some horrific injuries. All of us sort of looked at each other like, ‘What is he doing out here? Is he being smart right now?’”

“When he came in, it was just typical Rondo,” Garnett added. “Shorty is a really tough, young individual and I don’t know what he’s going to be like when he’s 35, but right now he’s playing through a lot. He’s showing a lot of heart, a lot of grit. We see it. That doesn’t go unspoken or unseen. We see he’s out there giving his full effort. We’re following that lead.”

Rondo is listed as day-to-day with the injury, and his availability for game four on Monday, May 9 is uncertain.