Allen fights off cold, heats up in win

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Allen fights off cold, heats up in win

BOSTON -- Ray Allen battled a cold all day on Monday.

Imagine what a healthy version of him would have done.

Allen scored a team-high 27 points and shot six-for-seven from three-point range to lead the Boston Celtics to a 100-92 win over the Washington Wizards.

Prior to the game, he suffered from a minor headache, coughing, runny nose, and congestion. Allen said he felt the pain once he came out of the game, but while he was on the court he did everything he could to block it out.

I think any time you have any small, little issue, whether it's a nagging injury or you are dealing with any kind of sickness or flu, you always focus in a lot more, he said after the game. It's like that little bit of playing around that you do, either in your mind or out there on the floor, you cut that out and you focus in more because you know you're not feeling well.

Allen scored 16 points in the first half and added another 11 in the fourth quarter alone. He shot a perfect three-for-three from long range in the fourth, including a trey off a fastbreak from Paul Pierce to give the Celtics an eight-point lead with 1:30 to go.

Rays doing what he does for us, making big clutch shots in opportune times, said Pierce. Hes been doing that ever since hes been here, and we try to get him the ball as much as possible in those situations. More times than not, he comes through for us.

Head coach Doc Rivers praised Allen as a marathon man, and Allen threw the compliments back to his teammates. He credited them for getting him open with the extra pass, something he says is being emphasized to all the players this season.

I just thought, truly though, my guys got me open tonight, he said. If you look at any of the shots down the stretch, Kevin (Garnett) made a tough pass, (Rajon) Rondo made a tough pass, Paul (Pierce) made a tough pass. Every time we made a tough extra pass, and it's tough for any team to guard that second or third pass when you make it.

When listing off his symptoms after the game, Allen pondered, I'm congested but my nose is running. How does that work?

While Allen tries to figure out how to stop whats pestering him, the Wizards will try to do the same the next time they face him this season.

Bradley (Achilles) 'felt good' during return to Celtics lineup

Bradley (Achilles) 'felt good' during return to Celtics lineup

WALTHAM, Mass. – As the final horn blew in Boston’s 108-98 win over Charlotte on Monday night, the game was a win-win kind of night for Avery Bradley.

The Celtics (26-15) continue rolling over opponents at the TD Garden, and he played a relatively pain-free 33 minutes in the win.

It was Bradley’s first game back after missing the previous four with a strained right Achilles injury.

And the fact that he was back on the practice floor on Tuesday (be it a light practice, mind you), bodes well for his injury being a thing of the past now.

“I felt good. It wasn’t sore at all in the game,” Bradley said. “I felt I was moving good. After the game I was a little sore and this morning, but otherwise I felt good.”

Despite Boston being 4-1 this season when Bradley doesn’t play, he has immense value to this Celtics team at both ends of the floor.

Offensively he has been Boston’s second-leading scorer most of this season and currently averages a career-high 17.7 points per game along with 6.9 rebounds which is also a career high.

And defensively, Bradley is coming off a season in which he was named to the NBA’s all-Defensive First Team for the first time.

Any questions or concerns about the Achilles affecting his play defensively were put to rest Monday night when he put the defensive clamps on Nicolas Batum who missed nine of his 11 shots from the field while primarily being guarded by Bradley.

Now his offense, that’s another story.

Bradley failed to reach double digits scoring for the first time this season as he missed seven of his nine shots on Monday to finish with just five points.

But part of that had to do with Bradley passing up shots he normally takes, as well as him missing some he normally knocks down.

Considering his lay-off and the rhythm his teammates have been in shooting the ball in his absence, Bradley wisely decided to get his defensive bearings on track and gradually bring his offensive game around. 

“I have to get my (shooting) rhythm back,” said Bradley who is making a career-best 40.9 percent of his 3-pointers this season. “I’m fine. I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s game.”