Allen gets hot on the floor and in the locker room

Allen gets hot on the floor and in the locker room

By A. Sherrod Blakely
CSNNE.com

SACRAMENTO, Calif. We've all seen Ray Allen hot - but not like this.

The Boston Celtics were losing, on the road, by near double-digits to a Sacramento team that's among the worst in the NBA.

So as Allen made his way towards the C's locker room at the half, he lit into this teammates in a way seldom seen or heard.

"I don't normally do that," Allen said.

Coach Doc Rivers stood outside the locker room and heard it all multiple voices.

"You could hear them talking that, 'We don't play that way. That's not Celtics basketball.' I heard Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett."

But according to players, it was Allen whose voice seemed to dominate all others.

"Ray really doesn't say much at halftime," said Paul Pierce. "But he came out, kind of got on guys. Guys responded."

After trailing by seven points at the half, Boston pulled ahead in the third and never looked back.

And the reserves, who squandered a first-half lead built up by the starters?

They redeemed themselves with some solid play down the stretch.

Kendrick Perkins (8 points, 10 rebounds) and Nate Robinson (four points, four rebounds and a season-high five steals) stood out along with Sixth Man of the Year candidate Glen Davis, who had 14 points and 4 rebounds.

"Ray was kind of mad at us," Perkins said. "We just had to take it, bounce back and go from there. I thought guys came back in, took the coaching well, came in with the right mindset."

And while Allen's game-high 22 points certainly stood out, his biggest contribution had nothing to do with his feathery-soft stroke or lighting quick release.

"Since I've been here, I've not had to be too boisterous," Allen said. "I've been pretty much, go and lead by example."

In a way, that's what Allen did.

Except his leadership skills are usually reserved for making big shots.

On Tuesday, he was more about making a point - a loud, boisterous one, at that - that the Celtics had to pump the brakes on losing to bad teams.

"I was pissed at the way we played," Allen said of the team's first half performance. "I felt we took their confidence away at the start of the game. Going into the second quarter, I felt we gave them confidence back by not playing, not having energy."

It was yet another example of how Allen continues to be as clutch a player as the C's have.

"It's a time and place for everything," Allen said.

A. Sherrod Blakely can be reached at sblakely@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sherrod on Twitter at http:twitter.comsherrodbcsn.

Highlights: Devin Booker puts up 70 points but Celtics get the win

Highlights: Devin Booker puts up 70 points but Celtics get the win

Highlights from the TD Garden as Devin Booker had a historic performance where he scored 70 points, but it wasn't enough to get the win over the Celtics.

Thomas on Suns: 'We’re worried about the playoffs; they’re worried about the lottery'

Thomas on Suns: 'We’re worried about the playoffs; they’re worried about the lottery'

BOSTON – Stacking wins on top of wins is the mindset of the Boston Celtics right now, so the players who did speak to the media following Friday’s 130-120 win over Phoenix drove that point home emphatically.

But inside the locker room, it was unusually quiet, the kind of silence you expect following a loss.

Considering how the Celtics’ defense was absolutely thrashed by Devin Booker’s franchise record 70 points, there’s no question at a minimum the Celtics’ pride overall was stung.

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And when Suns coach Earl Watson began calling time-outs and having his team commit fouls at the end of the game, there’s no question it rubbed a few Celtics the wrong way.

“I don’t think anybody has ever seen that; continuing to call time-outs, continuing to foul when we are up 15. But I mean, it was obvious what they were trying to do. They were trying to get him (Booker) the most points possible. Hat off to to him (Booker). He played a hell of a game.”

Following the game, Watson defended his late-game decision making.

“Calling time-outs at the end kept the game close,” he said. “It’s basketball; I’m not coming to any arena to be liked. If people don’t like us while we build … so what? Do something about it.”

The Suns (22-51) never came any closer than 10 points, which was the final score margin.

Al Horford acknowledged that there was some aggravation following the game.

“You can be frustrated when somebody is doing that to you,” he said. “It’s not to one guy, it’s to the team so I think we’re probably more aggravated at ourselves, at least personally I feel that way. I probably could have done a little better, maybe done some different things to prevent it. We got to give him credit, 70 points, I don’t care it’s 70, he got 70. It’s impressive.”

But there will be some inside the Celtics locker room and among their fan base, who were bothered by the Suns’ late-game actions which seemed more focused on Booker getting numbers than anything else.

When asked about being disrespected by the Suns’ late-game strategy, Thomas wanted no part of that conversation.

“It is what it is,” Thomas said. “We won the game. We’re worried about the playoffs; they’re worried about the lottery.”

 Boom!