Allen gets his 'Top Gun' on in Celtics' win

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Allen gets his 'Top Gun' on in Celtics' win

BOSTON It only makes sense that Ray Allen, one of the greatest shooters in NBA history, lists 'Top Gun' as one of his favorite movies.<br><br>In Boston's 97-92 overtime win over Houston, Allen acknowledged he took a page from the flick in helping the Celtics (20-17) extend their winning streak to five and -- maybe just as important -- set up a showdown Wednesday night in Philadelphia, with the winner sitting atop the Atlantic Division.<br><br>"I was watching how they were guarding me, so as the fourth quarter came along and overtime, when I got the ball I knew they were trying to run me off the three point line," Allen said. "So I just said, 'This 3 is going to be on my terms.'<br>"When Courtney Lee jumped at me I knew I was going to fake him and let him fly by me. It's like one of my favorite movies, 'Top Gun,' I put on the brakes and let him fly by."<br><br><img src="commonglobal_imagesblog_divider.png">And as Lee soared past Allen, in an instant the ball was out of Allen's hands, airborne, and . . . swish! Celtics were up by two points with a few ticks left on the clock. <br><br>A missed layup by Rajon Rondo set up a regulation-tying jumper by Goran Dragic. But in the overtime period, Allen would serve as both the opening and closing act, as he scored the first points of overtime with a nice reverse layup, and sealed the C's victory with a pair of free throws with 18 seconds to play that would serve as the game's final points. <br><br>"That's what he does," said Paul Pierce, who led all scorers with 30 points - 7 of which came in overtime. "He's a mark of consistency; he set the ball as one of the great marksmen of all time."<br><br>And to think that Allen, 36, is seemingly getting better with time.<br><br>Allen, a career 40 percent shooter from 3-point range, came into Tuesday's game connecting on a career-high 48.3 percent of his 3s this season.<br><br>"Age isn't anything but a number," said C's guard Keyon Dooling. "Ray is one of the best conditioned athletes in our league. He puts his time in; he still does the same routine he's had for years and obviously he's the greatest shooter in the history of the game."<br><br>While Allen spends a considerable amount of time preparing his body in the offseason, he even finds ways to stay in tip-top shape during games.<br><br>"Even in games you have to learn how to be efficient out there," Allen said. "Sometimes you have to run harder just to push that bad wind out of you and sometimes you have to just be efficient, and get to your spot and allow your body to recover out there. So it changes; you just have to listen to your body."<br><br>Coach Doc Rivers is among those who knows how hard Allen works at preparing his body for the grind of an NBA season.<br><br>But to be as effective a shooter as he is at his age, Rivers is among those baffled by it all. <br><br>"I don't know how you do it. Clearly they have a hoop on the golf course in the summertime, because that's where he spends his whole summer," quipped Rivers. "He's an amazing athlete."<div>

Gronkowski healthy enough to participate during Patriots OTA practice

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Gronkowski healthy enough to participate during Patriots OTA practice

There's one where he makes a one-handed catch and celebrates with his arms outstretched as he glides into the end zone. There's another where he leaves his feet to go up and over safety Devin McCourty to come down with a pass. 

Judging by some of the pictures that have surfaced on Patriots.com of Rob Gronkowski participating in an OTA practice earlier this week, the All-Pro tight end seems to be feeling pretty good. 

Gronkowski is returning to action after undergoing season-ending back surgery last year so there was some question as to just how prepared he'd be to participate in practices this spring and summer. 

Again, judging by the photos, the answer is he's ready to ready to run routes on air and make contested catches against defenders.

Reporters will have an opportunity to watch the team practice on Thursday, the first workout open to members of the media, which will allow us to judge Gronkowski's mobility and his level of participation.

Another takeaway from the photos on the team website is that Gronkowski was not required to wear a non-contact jersey during the session. Contact is not allowed during this phase of the offseason training program, but players returning from injury (and quarterbacks) will still wear red jerseys to inform their teammates they're not to be touched. For instance, Jonathan Freeny, who was placed on season-ending injured reserve about a month into last season, donned a red non-contact jersey in one image.