Allen: 'Definitely won't rule myself out for Monday'

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Allen: 'Definitely won't rule myself out for Monday'

WASHINGTON A left ankle injury suffered in the second quarter of Boston's 100-94 win over Washington was able to do what the Wizards defense couldn't - slow Ray Allen down.

Allen, who has had multiple ankle injuries throughout his career, was unable to play in the second half and isn't sure if he'll suit up for Monday's game against Orlando.

"I definitely won't rule myself out," Allen said. "Tomorrow's a new day. I always like to think I'm in the lineup, no matter what. I work my body it has done great things, miraculous things for me over the past. That's why I take care of it. Tomorrow, sleep, get rest and heal up for tomorrow."

Ankle injuries are not foreign to Allen. Prior to arriving in Boston, Allen had surgery on both ankles during the 2006-2007 season.

Since then, he has had nothing more than an occasional ankle sprain.

"Having surgeries on my ankles in the past, I've been blessed that they've been good," Allen said. "That's why managing, taking care of my body is important."

Without Allen, look for the Celtics to go with Mickael Pietrus who continues to provide a lift at both ends of the floor for Boston off the bench.

On Sunday, Pietrus finished with 14 points on 5-for-8 shooting from the field. He was also 2-for-4 from 3-point range, the kind of performance they needed after a six-point performance in Boston's 79-71 loss to Phoenix on Friday.

In that game, C's coach Doc Rivers thought Pietrus at times wasn't as aggressive as they need him to be.

That wasn't a problem against the Wizards, with Pietrus scoring not only from the perimeter but also looking to take advantage of Washington's "small ball" lineup that matched him up at times with a smaller player.

Rivers said Pietrus' play was among the many positive performances the C's can take from Sunday's win.

"When you have Ray Allen and (Rajon) Rondo off the floor (because of injuries)," Rivers said, "you're searching and I thought our guys did a great job."

Barnes, Cousins trying to keep 'emotions and energy focused'

Barnes, Cousins trying to keep 'emotions and energy focused'

BOSTON – No one is proclaiming DeMarcus Cousins’ demeanor is all that radically different than past seasons. 

But the volatile nature that has often overshadowed his on-the-court-brilliance, doesn’t seem to shine as brightly as it used to. 

Maybe he’s growing up. 

Maybe he’s finally comfortable with his team. 

And then there’s the almighty dollar which was the incentive for one of his teammates, Matt Barnes, to clean up his act as far as racking up technical fouls and being fined by the league. 

I asked Barnes whether there was a light bulb moment or a teammate or player that helped him get on track and not draw so much attention from officials and the league office. 

“It was all the money I was being fined,” he said. “I think I lost like $600,000 over my career for fines. It was time to kind of wake and say ‘hey, they don’t like you so you have to stick to the book.’”

With Barnes returning to Sacramento (he played for the Kings during the 2004-2005 season), he finds an intense, kindred spirit of sorts in Cousins who like Barnes has had his share of technical and fines handed down by the league office. 

This season, Cousins is the NBA’s leader in technical fouls with six. 

“I’ve always had a good head on my shoulders,” Barnes said. “I’m just a passionate player. I play with my emotion on my sleeve. I think DeMarcus does the same thing. What I’m trying to show him now, we have to keep our emotions and energy focused towards the right things. That could be detrimental to the team if it gets out of hand.”

First-year coach Dave Joerger has been pleased to see how different Cousins is to be around on a daily basis as opposed to how he’s perceived. 

“He gets credit for his talent. He gets credit that he’s improved in the league,” Joerger said. “I think he doesn’t get enough credit for the way that his approach to the game and the way that he’s carrying himself and conducting himself has greatly improved. He’s a good person. Now being with him, I see improvement over the last three years, the way that he goes about his business. I think that’s very positive.”

Game notes: Celtics look to extend Kings’ Boston losing streak to nine

Game notes: Celtics look to extend Kings’ Boston losing streak to nine

BOSTON – Here are a few odds and ends to keep an eye on heading into tonight’s game against the Sacramento Kings: 
 
· The Celtics have won eight in a row over the Kings in Boston, with the last loss to Sacramento at the TD Garden coming on Jan. 19, 2007. Current Celtic Gerald Green was in the starting lineup that night. 

· Only six times in franchise history have the Celtics launched 38 or more 3-pointers in a game, four of which came in the month of November this season. 

· Speaking of 3-pointers, 36.2 percent of Boston’s shots are 3s. That ranks fifth in the league behind Houston, Cleveland, Brooklyn and Golden State.

· Don’t be surprised if Avery Bradley gets off to a good start tonight, especially from 3-point range. He’s shooting 59.1 percent on 3s in the first quarter which ranks second in the league. 

· Isaiah Thomas tallied 395 points scored in November, the most by a Celtic since John Havlicek had 406 points in November during the 1971-1972 season. 

· Boston leads the NBA in points scored (46.3 per game) by second-round picks. The Celtics’ second-round picks include Isaiah Thomas; Jae Crowder; Amir Johnson; Jonas Jerebko; Demetrius Jackson and Jordan Mickey.

· The Celtics are 5-0 this season when they outrebound an opponent. 

· Tonight’s game will be Boston’s fifth set of back-to-back games this season. In the first game, they are 3-1 this season. On the second night, they are 2-2.