Allen to play in Game Three

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Allen to play in Game Three

BOSTON Ray Allen finished off his pre-game routine with a dunk, about as clear a sign as we've seen that Ray Allen - for tonight at least - was back.

The long-awaited return of Ray Allen to the Celtics lineup is finally over, with the veteran guard being deemed healthy enough to play in Game 3 of Boston's first-round matchup against the Atlanta Hawks.

While the Celtics certainly could use Allen's long-range shooting, there's no way of telling how much C's coach Doc Rivers will play him - or how long Allen can last once he gets on the floor.

The right ankle injury has kept him off the floor for the last 11 games for the C's. And his return could not come at a better time for a Celtics team that has struggled mightily from 3-point range.

Boston is connecting on just 12 percent of its 3-pointers, far and away the worst of any playoff team thus far.

Allen's absence has also been felt in the Celtics bench production, which also ranks last at nine points per game.