Allen breaks 3-point record, savors the moment

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Allen breaks 3-point record, savors the moment

By JessicaCamerato
CSNNE.com

BOSTON - For 2,560 three-pointers, Ray Allen was a basketball player. He celebrated the baskets in fist pumps, high fives, and elevated shoulder bumps with his teammates.

But after knocking down his record-breaking 2,561st long-range shot, he was a human being. He celebrated in handshakes, hugs, and long embraces with family members.

Allen has spent the past 15 years making three-point shooting look effortless. His quick release looks automatic and his smooth follow-through seems like second nature.

There is little time for thinking about each basket in the flow of the game. Catch and shoot . . . then move on.

On Thursday night in front of a home crowd, however, Allen was able to take a moment to bask in the magnitude of his accomplishments.

Allen broke Reggie Millers all-time 3-point record in the first quarter of the Boston Celtics game against the Los Angeles Lakers at TD Garden. He tied Millers mark (2,560) with 4:14 left in the quarter and passed it less than three minutes later.

When the buzzer sounded at the end of the quarter, Allen was able to step outside of his role as a basketball player and enjoy the feat without a shot clock or defender in his face.

It was a moment he had anticipated - and pondered - as he neared the mark.

Allen spoke with Miller, who was broadcasting the game, earlier in the day and asked for advice beforehand. Determining how to celebrate the record posed more of a question than how to break it.

I told him, What do I do? I dont know what to do,' said Allen. Do I just sit there and look stupid or do I stand up? I dont know. Reggie said, 'I dont know either. I just think youve got to do whatever you feel because that is your moment.' I said, Well I am glad youre here because this is your moment as well, and Im glad I can share it with you.

Allen acknowledged the crowd and then walked across the court to the broadcast table where Miller was working. First a handshake, then a hug. The two enjoyed a moment of mutual admiration for each others careers.

Allens mother stood just feet away on the court, waiting patiently to congratulate the son who she has tirelessly cheered on night in and night out. Their special moment was captured on the Jumbotron, with emotions displayed throughout the entire arena.

Allen then made his way over to his family. Amid screaming fans, he was a son, a husband, a father.

Once the timeout came, I just knew I had to go over there and say thank you again to Reggie, he said. My mom was standing there, she was in tears, so I wanted to make sure I thanked my family for being there for me. You dont do anything in any sport or job, without the backbone of your family. Theyre making sure I have the confidence to walk out of the house, so I can come here and do this job every night, making sure I eat right, that the kids are taken care of. Without them, I cant be who I am.

And Allen knows the Celtics wouldnt be who they are without their fans, either. Allen needed four 3-pointers to break the record when the Celtics played the Bobcats in Charlotte on Monday. He made two that night.

It was all about these fans in Boston, it was all about the fans in Boston, he said. I think about anything Ive ever done in my career, the stage here is set, and everybody was ready. Going back a game or so ago in Charlotte, the stage wasnt there, and I knew people wanted to see me do it. If I did it, I did it, but the stage here was set. When I ran out on the floor, and saw all the signs, and all the people.

This record, I just didnt really understand until that moment just how big it was.

After 15 years, Allen was able to take a moment to realize it all.

Jessica Camerato is on Twitter athttp:twitter.comjcameratoNBA

Celtics move into No. 1 spot in East as Cavs get crushed by Spurs

Celtics move into No. 1 spot in East as Cavs get crushed by Spurs

SAN ANTONIO -- The Cavaliers acknowledged having heavy legs, yet there is something far weightier on the minds of the defending NBA champions.

Cleveland is in the midst of one of its worst stretches this season and there is little time to fix it.

Kawhi Leonard scored 25 points and the San Antonio Spurs dismantled the ailing Cavs 103-74 on Monday night in a much-anticipated showdown that turned into a major letdown for Cleveland.

"The way we've been struggling, (the Spurs are) the last team that you want to play," said LeBron James, who was fine after taking an elbow to the neck. "A well-oiled machine like this, they exploit everything that you're not doing well at that point in time of the season and right now we're not playing good basketball."

James, who finished with 17 points, eight rebounds and eight assists in 29 minutes, said he will play Thursday at Chicago.

Cleveland (47-26) dropped its second in a row, set a season low for points and fell a half-game behind Boston (48-26) for the top seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs. The Cavaliers have nine games remaining, all against teams in the East, including a visit to Boston on April 5.

James said the standings "always matter," but playing more consistently is far more important and he refused to blame injuries or an arduous schedule for the team's troubles.

"It matters more that we're playing better basketball than where we're at," he said. "If that results in us having the No. 1 seed, the No. 2 seed, 3 or whatever the hell it is, we need to play better basketball. That's what it comes down to."

What Cleveland is seeking, the Spurs have already found.

San Antonio (57-16) is two games behind Golden State (59-14) for the league's best record entering a home game against the Warriors on Wednesday.

The Spurs have won five straight and 8 of 10 after sweeping the season series with the Cavaliers.

"It was a big game, but in the end, it's just one game, and one win," San Antonio guard Tony Parker said. "We're trying to be consistent. We're trying to play the same way every game. It was definitely surprising. Coming off a loss, I thought they would play with a lot more energy, but it can happen. It's a long season. It's just one game and I'm sure they're going to bounce back and use this game as motivation."

LaMarcus Aldridge and Pau Gasol added 14 points apiece for the Spurs.

San Antonio led by as many as 33 to the delight of the sold-out crowd, and the Spurs' bench outscored the Cavaliers' reserves 49-24.

"We did a good job coming out early and then keeping our foot on the pedal," Leonard said.

Cleveland, which was already without injured Iman Shumpert, received more bad news Monday morning when it was announced that Kyle Korver will miss at least two more games with a sore left foot.

"You lose Korver and Shumpert off your bench and things tend to change," Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue said. "With those two guys out, we tried some different things and it didn't work. It was not on the bench. It was on me."

Cleveland opted to play its stars rather than rest them, but the trio of James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love sat out the fourth quarter of the Cav's second lopsided loss in the past two weeks.

Lue said he has considered resting his stars over the team's final nine games, which James is not in favor of.

"Coach is going to have his logic of things, but we need to play," he said.

James exited with 25 seconds remaining in the third after taking an elbow to his neck from David Lee on a rebound. James continually rubbed the area before collapsing after he crossed midcourt. He remained on the floor for about a minute before walking unassisted to the bench.

James left for the locker room early in the fourth quarter during a timeout, but said afterward he is fine.

EXTRA SHOOTING

Irving returned to the court for about 15 minutes following the loss to work on his jump shot. The star guard had eight points and two assists in 26 minutes. He finished 4 for 13 from the field and missed his two 3-point attempts.

TIP-INS

Cavaliers: Cleveland completed its schedule against the West, finishing 16-14. In addition to losing to the Spurs by 29 points, the Cavaliers lost by 35 to Golden State and 30 to the Los Angeles Clippers . . . James needs 24 points to pass Shaquille O'Neal for seventh overall in career scoring. O'Neal has 28,596 career points . . . The Cavaliers averaged 116.3 points in their previous four games.

Spurs: San Antonio is holding opponents under 100 points per game for the 22nd straight season . . . Danny Green tied his season high with four blocked shots . . . Leonard has scored in double figures in 100 straight games.

UP NEXT

Cavaliers: At the Chicago Bulls on Thursday night.

Spurs: Host the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday night.

Bertrand: Raptors a 'scary team' in the Eastern Conference

Bertrand: Raptors a 'scary team' in the Eastern Conference

Mike Felger and Marc Bertrand talk about the Celtics clinching the No. 1 spot in the Eastern Conference and other potential threats for the C's.