BOSTON - Ray Allen didnt get much sleep on Wednesday night.
Then again, who can blame him?
On Thursday morning he woke up two baskets shy of an all-time NBA record and hours away from tip-off.
I didnt sleep extremely well last night. And I didnt expect to, he said before the Boston Celtics took on the Los Angeles Lakers. Last night I was just like a little kid. The game itself is big enough. Being on the precipice of breaking this record takes you to another level.
The game warranted hype on its own. But rather than it being headlined as the Lakers first trip to Boston since beating the Celtics for the 2010 world championship, the overwhelming storyline has become Ray for the Record.
Allen stands at 2,559 career three-pointers. He needs one to tie Reggie Miller and two to break the record.
His teammates smiled as they talked of the chance at history. His family and friends have been visiting and sending warm wishes in phone calls and text messages. And Miller, who is on-hand to broadcast the game, offered his encouragement.
He just told me he was proud of me and he was excited for me, Allen said of their conversation earlier in the day. He said he was glad that he could be here for this moment, and its so serendipitous that it happened the way it happened, for us to be sitting here and Reggies in the building about to watch the game.
In typical Allen fashion, he tried to stick with his daily schedule as much as possible. He got his shots up. He took addressed the media at his locker like he does before every game. He spoke of the importance of winning the game superseding a pair of three-pointers.
Its not something that you take for granted. That ball has to go in. you get good looks, guys set screens, he said, adding, I dont want anyone to get sidetracked. I dont want (Rajon) Rondo to look for more any more or less than what he would do normally.
As much as Allen and the Celtics are focused on beating the Lakers, it is impossible to ignore the possibility of what could happen in the next four quarters they play.
I think all of us who are in sports, we put ourselves in situations where we can achieve some type of success, Allen said. Its great to get adulation, but you always know at some point in time, its time to go to work and youve got to put that work in. Its great to sit here and talk to you all. I know why Im here, and it requires a lot of blood and sweat.
Jessica Camerato is on Twitter athttp:twitter.comjcameratoNBA