Allen returns from illness, plays big in overtime

Allen returns from illness, plays big in overtime
March 4, 2012, 6:01 pm
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BOSTON -- Ray Allen was back in the Boston Celtics lineup on Sunday after a recent bout with the norovirus, scoring 12 points in their overtime win against the New York Knicks.

Allen began feeling ill with a loss of appetite on Wednesday evening following the Celtics game against the Milwaukee Bucks. He vomited after returning home and thought some rest would cure the problem.

When you go to sleep you think it's all going to be better when you wake up, he said before the game. It wasnt better.

Allens wife, Shannon, drove him to New England Baptist Hospital where he was diagnosed with the norovirus. He said his children also had the illness while the Celtics were on the road.

He spent the day in the hospital receiving fluids as he battled with stomach problems. Allen returned home on Thursday evening and has regained his appetite since then.

After sitting out Fridays game against the New Jersey Nets, he looked bounce back on Sunday afternoon against the New York Knicks. Allen didnt expect any problems other than with his wind, as he calls it, after missing a game.

I'm always 100 percent, he said with a smile.

Allen struggled, though, on the offensive glass a points during the game. He went scoreless in the first quarter and didnt get on the board until three minutes into the second. At halftime he had just three points and went scoreless again in the third. He tacked on another four points in the fourth, heading into overtime with seven points.

Nonetheless, Doc Rivers was impressed by Allens performance for the way he fought off the Knicks defense.

They decided that they were going to take Ray out of the game, said Rivers. Start of the second half, we used Ray as a picker. He was picking everybody and getting guys open because nobody was getting off his body, and that was effective for us.

Enter overtime, where none of those missed shots in regulation mattered. Allen scored five of the Celtics 12 points in extra play. His back-to-back three-pointer and layup broke a 105-105 tie that pushed the Cs lead up to five points. They never trailed after that.

The greatest part about Ray over any player that Ive coached, is rare, said Rivers. He can miss all his shots and if you draw up a play for him at the end of a game, if he gets open, hes probably going to make it.

Theres not a lot of guys like that.