Lakers spoil Allen's night, beat Celtics, 92-86

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Lakers spoil Allen's night, beat Celtics, 92-86

By A.Sherrod Blakely
CSNNE.com

BOSTON For years, Ray Allen has carried himself in such a way that you would think he was NBA royalty.

Well, he is now.

Ray Allen officially became the NBA's all-time king of the 3-ball in the first quarter on Thursday, splashing No. 2,561 to pass Reggie Miller who was just a few feet away at the time.

"When I got the ball and let it go . . . once the ball went in the air I knew it was good," said Allen who finished with a team-high 20 points.

Allen added, "I'll remember this for the rest of my life."

However, the night turned out to be a bittersweet one for Allen and the Boston Celtics as the Los Angeles Lakers rallied for a 92-86 win.

The C's came into the game with 10 healthy players.

By halftime, they were down to nine following a right knee bruise suffered by Nate Robinson, who will undergo an Magnetic Resonance Imaging test on Friday.

Even with the low number of bodies available, the C's weren't using that as the reason for losing for the third time in the last four games.

"We went up 13, 14 points," said Paul Pierce. "We had a chance to go up even more and we let them creep back into the game and in the third quarter they turned it up. We didn't adjust to it at all."

As disappointing as the loss was, it could not completely overshadow Allen's milestone.

There were a number of current players, such as Houston's Terrence Williams and Detroit's Charlie Villanueva, who congratulated Allen via Twitter shortly after he set the mark.

And the man he passed, Miller, also praised Allen's achievement.

"When people ask me, 'You've got to be a little bit upset or bitter?', I answer, 'Why?' First of all, all records are made to be broken," Miller said. "I'm just so happy for him because this is one of the best guys. He's so humble, he's so giving, he's a great family man and I'm excited. This is great. This is great for the game of basketball."

After Allen's shot went down, so did the sold-out TD Garden crowd that had risen to its feet in anticipation every time Allen raised up to shoot a 3-pointer.

There was still a game to be finished out, so there was little to no time to fully soak in the moment.

About 20 seconds after Allen's historic shot, the Celtics' Kendrick Perkins committed a foul which brought a stoppage to play.

That was when the public-address announcer told the crowd about Allen's record.

In the moments following that, Allen went over to give Miller a hug.

Allen went to the bench and got hugs and handshakes from his teammates.

He gave his mother - easily his biggest fan - a hug, and followed that up with hugs and kisses for the rest of his family.

And then . . . back to the game.

Give the Celtics a lot of credit.

There's always going to be a decent amount of build-up to games between these two teams.

But with so much attention prior to the game paid to Allen's pursuit of the 3-point record, it could have easily led to the C's coming out looking to help Allen set the record instead of setting the tempo against a Lakers team that's still in search of a marquee win over one of the league's power teams.

The Celtics controlled the action for most of the first half, with their lead peaking at 45-30.

However, it seemed the Lakers finally started to wear down the short-handed Celtics late in the second quarter, as Los Angeles went on a 14-4 run to make it a 49-44 game.

But the Celtics were able to hold the Lakers' surge off, and took a 53-45 lead into the half.

However, the C's still came up short which to some, would take some of the luster off his accomplishment.

Allen's 3-point mark wasn't a one-night achievement.

It was the crowning jewel for a career that, when it's all said and done, will end with him eventually being enshrined in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.

And that 3-point record he has?

Chances are pretty good it'll be his for a while as well.

Paul Pierce is 12th all-time in 3s made with 1,541.

"I'll never catch him," Pierce said. "I know that for a fact. Records are made to be broken, but I don't think it will be broken for a very long time. He still has four or five years left in him."

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

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.