Allen beginning to get back on target

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Allen beginning to get back on target

BOSTON Ray Allen remains day-to-day for the Boston Celtics.

But it seems everyday is bringing him just that much closer to being the late-game, dagger-shooting Ray Allen that Celtics fans have come to embrace and this time of year, expect to come up with big plays.

He certainly did in Boston's 115-111 overtime loss at Miami in Game Two of the Eastern Conference finals. They'll need more of Allen's clutch shooting on Friday in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals against Miami. Boston trails 2-0 in the best-of-seven series.

Rajon Rondo was on a different level than anyone else that night, finishing with a career-high 44 points to go with 10 assists and eight rebounds in what was one of the greatest games played by a Celtic in the postseason.

But it was the 3-pointer by Allen late in the fourth quarter that tied the score and ultimately, forced the game into overtime.

"Miami doesn't leave me often, but they left me that time," Allen said.

The 6-foot-5 guard, still dealing with bone spurs in his right ankle, has been in the midst of his worst postseason in terms of scoring (9.8) and shooting from both the field (39.7) and from 3-point range (27.9) in addition to a just 61.3 percent from the free throw line.

But in Boston's Game 2 loss, Allen's 13 points were the second-highest scoring output he has had in the playoffs this year. More important, he was moving with the kind of fluidity that has seldom been seen during this postseason run by the Celtics.

For them to come away with a victory, Allen will need to build off of what was about as close to the Ray Allen of old that the C's have seen lately.

"The whole game I felt good," Allen said. "I had really no issues moving around the floor. As the game went on, it was almost like if I forget about it, then it's a good thing, and I forgot about my foot, and eventually I just kept playing and I didn't have any issues."

And that bodes well for both Allen and the Celtics heading into a must-win game Friday night.

Lowry, Sullinger and Blount interrupt interview with DeRozan

Lowry, Sullinger and Blount interrupt interview with DeRozan

DeMar DeRozan didn't get a chance to answer one question in his postgame interview before being interrupted by Kyle Lowry, Jared Sullinger, and LeGarrette Blount.

Sullinger on Celtics: 'I watch from a distance, I support from a distance'

Sullinger on Celtics: 'I watch from a distance, I support from a distance'

BOSTON – The trip to the TD Garden is one that Jared Sullinger has made many times but never like this. 

The former Celtic was back in town with his new team, the Toronto Raptors who signed him to a one-year, $5.6 million deal after the Celtics rescinded their qualifying offer to him and thus made him an unrestricted free agent. 

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“I had a feeling it was going to go that way once they signed big Al (Horford), that they were going to let me go,” Sullinger said prior to Friday’s game.  “We were prepared for it. It is what it is. I’m happy these guys are doing well.”

And he hopes to say the same for himself sometime in the future after undergoing surgery to have a screw inserted in the fifth metatarsal of his left foot – the same foot he had season-ending surgery on during the 2014-2015 season with the Celtics. 

There’s no specific timetable as to when he’ll be back on the floor, and Sullinger is cool with that plan. 

“I don’t know. They’re hiding the protocol from me so I won’t rush; we’ll see,” said Sullinger who is still in a walking boot. 

The 6-foot-9 forward played well in the preseason and solidified himself as the team’s starting power forward. 

Now that he’s out with another injury, he’ll have to once again try and prove himself either later this season when he returns, or this summer when he becomes a free agent again.

For now, Sullinger is happy to be back in town, seeing lots of familiar faces, friends and ex-teammates that he says he still keeps in close contact with. 

“Some of these guys I considered like brothers to me,” Sullinger said. “IT (Isaiah Thomas), Jae Crowder to name a few. So I watch from a distance, I support from a distance. They’re playing well.”

In addition to his former teammates, the lines of communication remained open between him and Celtics head coach Brad Stevens as well. 

Stevens said the two exchanged text messages right before he had foot surgery, and afterwards. 

“Obviously, everyone here wishes a speedy recovery and hopefully he gets back on the court soon,” Stevens said. 

Sullinger has been an effective player during his time in the NBA, with career averages of 11.1 points and 7.7 rebounds per game. 

But this will be the third time in his five NBA seasons that he will miss a significant amount of time on the court due to an injury or recovering from an injury. 

Stevens acknowledged that he feels for Sullinger who once again has to go through rehabilitation in order to get back on the floor.

“I like Jared a lot,” Stevens said. “He’s a heck of a player, he’s a really smart guy. Got a lot of respect for him and it stinks that he’s got to go through that but he’ll come back strong I’m sure.”