Allen returns to form, comes up big for C's

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Allen returns to form, comes up big for C's

BOSTON Ray Allen is totally resigned to the idea that his gimpy right ankle is going to give him problems from time to time throughout the playoffs.
It happened in the second half of Boston's Game 5 win in Miami.
"He said it locked on him again," said C's coach Doc Rivers. "He needed our team doctor to move it; I guess it would almost be chiropractic, just to unhinge it so he can run again. That's what it was."
Allen not only returned to the game, but down the stretch returned to the near flawless free throw shooter that C's fans have come to expect when he steps to the line.
He'll hope to continue knocking down free throws -- and a few jumpers for good measure -- when the Celtics look to close out the Eastern Conference finals Thursday night at the Garden, which would catapult them to the NBA Finals for the third time in the Big Three era.
And for a C's team that has struggled at times -- OK, most of the time -- scoring, having Allen back to his old self from the line is huge.
Walter Ray Allen is a career 89.4 percent free throw shooter, but is down to just 69.2 percent in the playoffs.
He certainly came up big in Tuesday's Game 5 win with a pair of free throws -- they were number seven and number eight for him on the night -- with 13.8 seconds to play that would turn out to be the C's game-winning points.
Allen's free throw shooting form is about the same, so figuring out why he was all of a sudden bricking one shot after another was frustrating.
After reviewing himself shooting free throws, Allen noticed that he didn't get the same kind of lift on his free throws that he normally does.
Problem solved.
"I wasn't lifting and pushing through," Allen said. "It was perplexing at times. I shot so many free throws on my down time in between then. I knew that's what it was. It was just a matter of getting in a game and knocking them down."

Thomas won’t play Friday night vs. Raptors

Thomas won’t play Friday night vs. Raptors

WALTHAM, Mass. – The Celtics are about to hit one of the toughest stretches of the season and they’ll have to do it for at least one more game without their leading scorer, Isaiah Thomas. 
 
Thomas, who suffered a right groin injury on Monday against the Houston Rockets, did not play on Wednesday against Orlando and said that he will not play in Friday night’s game against the Toronto Raptors. 
 
“It’s day to day. I want to play. I want to be out there but it’s the smart decision to hold out and wait until it’s 100 percent,” Thomas said during a Season of Giving event for children of the Military Friends Foundation held at the Celtics’ practice facility. “If it was a playoff game I would be out there for sure.”
 
However, after consulting with a number of medical personnel, Thomas decided the best thing for him and the Celtics was to sit out Friday’s game which, along with Wednesday in Orlando, will be the first two he has missed since the 2014-2015 season. 
 
Thomas said there’s no specific timetable for his return, but he said he is planning to travel with the team to Oklahoma City for their matchup against the Thunder on Sunday. 
 
“It’s eating me a live to sit, but I have to do what’s best for my body, I have to do what’s best for this team,” Thomas said. “I need to be 100 percent healthy to give this team what I can give them.”
 
The Celtics are hoping for similar success they had Wednesday in Orlando (a 117-87 victory) on Friday against Toronto.
 
“They played a hell of a game last night,” Thomas said. “They’ll be ready tomorrow.”
 
The fact that Thomas intends to travel with the team is a good sign that the groin injury isn’t too serious. 
 
If he doesn’t play at Oklahoma City, that likely means he’ll return to action on Wednesday at San Antonio. 
 
“I’m going to do what I can to get back out there on the court,” Thomas said. “I gotta be smart about this. I don’t want this to linger on this season.”
 
Replacing Smart in the lineup against Toronto will most likely be Marcus Smart. 
 
Smart, who has been a replacement starter at small forward and point guard this season, had 13 points, three rebounds, three assists and two steals against the Magic.