Allen bides time, hits shots when it counts

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Allen bides time, hits shots when it counts

ATLANTA One half, Ray Allen can't get a shot off.

The next?

He can't miss.

Throughout most of this season, Allen has had plenty of those up-and-down, see-saw like games; too many to count, actually.

Well you can add one more to the list, as Allen's second half scoring spree catapulted the Celtics to a 79-76 win over Atlanta.

Allen finished with a team-high 19 points, 17 of which came in the second half.

"Sometimes it can get frustrating; I know how they're guarding me," Allen said. "If Paul (Pierce) has it going, Kevin (Garnett) has it going, for me, I'm just biding with the game and trying to flow into the course of how it's going to change. It's definitely different from how it has been over the course of my time here."

But as Allen has proven throughout his time in Boston, he doesn't need a lot of time or touches offensively, to make his mark on the game.

"It's just biding your time, and keeping your head in the game," he said.

And more often than not, Allen is rewarded for his patience with an opportunity to deliver a clutch shot in the C's greatest moments of need.

That time didn't arrive until near the end of the third quarter, and the Celtics trailing 51-47 at the time with 1.2 seconds remaining. With the chances of scoring with so little time unlikely, Boston was facing the possibility of going into the fourth quarter with their largest deficit to end a quarter, all game.

But Allen soon changed that, drilling a 3-pointer as time expired to cut Atlanta's lead down to just a single point.

"That's one of those plays that gave us great momentum, just from the standpoint of how we've been not so good at closing out quarters," Allen said. "To be able to score we know what we wanted based on how they were guarding us. Rondo read it, and I was ready. It was almost like I expected him to throw it to me."

Always ready.

It has become a staple of who Ray Allen is now, and for that matter, has always been as a player.

But he's the first to admit that it can be challenging to have a ton of shots one half, and very few in another.

"I've scored a lot of points and had great difficulties with losing a lot of games," Allen said. "But just trying to, kind of find my way and find how I can help this team better, it has been difficult."

Isaiah Thomas continues to claim Celtics' franchise records

Isaiah Thomas continues to claim Celtics' franchise records

BOSTON – This continues to be a historic season for Isaiah Thomas as more records fell in Wednesday’s 103-100 loss to Milwaukee, and the company he’s keeping becomes even more exclusive. 

Thomas had a game-high 32 points on Wednesday which included five made 3’s on nine attempts. That gave him 223 for the season which is a new franchise single-season record for made 3-pointers. The previous record was 222 set by Antoine Walker during the 2001-2002 season.

And his 32 points scored gives him 2,012 this season. 

Only six players in franchise history (Paul Pierce was the last to do it during the 2005-2006 season) have scored 2,000 or more points in a single season. 

Oh, there’s more. 

With Wednesday being the 66th time this season he has had 20 or more points, Thomas has now tied Pierce (2005-2006) and Larry Bird (1985-1986; 1987-1988) for sixth on the Celtics’ single-season franchise list. 

“I didn’t even know that,” a visibly disappointed Thomas said following Wednesday’s loss. “It doesn’t feel that good right now. But when I look back on it, probably in the offseason, I’ll appreciate it a little more. But I’m just staying in the moment and try and play as best I can to lead this team to as many wins as possible.”

Other season milestones Thomas is in the mix for include the following:

  • The 5-foot-9 guard is one of three players this season to have 50 or more games of 25-plus points, joined by Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook (57) and Houston’s James Harden (54).
  • Thomas has made at least one 3-pointer in a franchise-record 50 straight games (Dec. 3 – March 29). That’s also the longest current streak in the NBA. 
  • With 66 games of 20 or more points this season, Thomas is second in the NBA to Westbrook (67).

Marcus Smart at center of yet another controversial call

Marcus Smart at center of yet another controversial call

BOSTON – One of the more bizarre plays in Boston’s 103-100 loss to Milwaukee came in the second quarter, requiring some explanation from the officials afterwards. 

With 3:55 to play in the second quarter, the officials had originally called a foul on Marcus Smart which he verbally protested that eventually led to him being whistled for a technical foul. 

After the officials reviewed the play, they changed the call to a personal foul against Khris Middleton but no change to the called technical foul against Smart who objected to a call that, upon review, they agreed was the wrong call to make. 

Official Sean Corbin, through pool reporter Ken Powtak of the Associated Press, acknowledged that the original call was a loose ball foul against Smart. 

“The (officiating) crew got together, we met prior to video and we decided that we needed to look at video because both players were on the floor bleeding so we went to the video for a hostile act,” Corbin told Powtak. “In the review we noticed that Khris Middleton initially made contact to Marcus Smart’s face. That’s how the original contact to the play occurred.”

Fortunately for the Celtics, Middleton missed his technical free throw while Smart split a pair of free throws which cut Milwaukee’s lead to 49-40.

Still, that’s no consolation for Smart who was whistled for a technical foul on a play that the official acknowledged was the wrong call to make. 

In the fourth quarter, Smart was at the center of yet another controversial call that was also reviewed by the officials. The verdict wasn't nearly as good for Smart who was whistled for a flagrant foul after getting his feet tangled up with Milwaukee's Giannis Antetokounmpo who was called for a non-shooting foul in the play with 4:46 to play. 

Antetokounmpo made one of two free throws and on the Bucks' ensuing possession, he was called for traveling.

Smart was unavailable to talk after the game in part because the aforementioned incident left an abrasion to his mouth and, because of the technical foul, a little lighter in the wallet as well.