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.

Tyronn Lue says Celtics harder to defend than Warriors: 'They're running all kinds of s---'

Tyronn Lue says Celtics harder to defend than Warriors: 'They're running all kinds of s---'

The Golden State Warriors are the least of Tyronn Lue's worries, Cleveland Cavaliers coach explained Tuesday.

Even though Lue and the Cavs are up 3-1 in the Eastern Conference Finals, he is apparently overwhelmed with the Boston Celtics to the point where he isn't even thinking about Steph Curry, Kevin Durant and the 67-win Warriors.

"We're just focused on Boston," Lue said of the Warriors following the Cavs' Game 4 win, via ESPN.com. "The stuff they're running, it's harder to defend than Golden State's [offense] for me, as far as the actions and all the running around and all the guys who are making all the plays, so it's a totally different thing."

No, seriously.

"Like, they hit the post, Golden State runs splits and all that stuff, but these guys are running all kinds of s---," Lue said of Boston coach Brad Stevens' schemes. "I'll be like, 'F---.' They're running all kinds of s---, man. And Brad's got them moving and cutting and playing with pace, and everybody is a threat. It's tough, you know, it's tough."

Without Isaiah Thomas, the Celtics finished Game 4 with four players who had 15 points or more. They also had six players who scored double digits in Boston's Game 3 win. Avery Bradley, Marcus Smart, Kelly Olynyk, Jae Crowder and Al Horford have made heavy offensive contributions. And they not just scoring. The Celtics are working hard off the ball by setting screens and cutting to the hoop to pressure the Cavaliers defense.

The Celtics may not have the Warriors' star power -- but Stevens and Boston are still managing to leave Lue in a state of clear befuddlement after a win.

LeBron James praised Stevens more directly when discussing how the Celtics "run different things" after losing Thomas to injury.

"So they had to kind of reshape, and that’s the beauty of having Brad Stevens as your coach," James told reporters. "You’re able to reshape what you do offensively and still be in a good rhythm. It’s been challenging for us to kind of — plays out of time-out, kind of been killing us on ATOs and keeping us off balance, but in the second half we kind of got a little bit of rhythm, and think we’ll be better in Game 5."