By A. Sherrod Blakely
BOSTON Two of the NBA's greatest 3-point shooters were on hand during Boston's game against the Dallas Mavericks.
That's not a surprise.
The fact that one of those shooters is Jason Kidd?
"That would probably be a good trivia question," Kidd told CSNNE.com. "Who were the top three, 3-point shooters? My name would probably never be mentioned. But I've worked hard at it, and I'm very proud to have made some."
He certainly did on Friday night, one of which would prove to be the game-winner for the Mavericks as they closed out the game with a 10-0 run to defeat the C's, 101-97.
Kidd finished with 10 points and nine assists, which included a 3-pointer with 2.5 seconds to play that was the game-winner.
On the game-winning shot, Kidd had the ball and hesitated enough to get Allen flying in his direction.
As Allen landed, Kidd raised up for the game-winner and hit nothing but net.
"I was actually afraid that when I jumped, he was going to jump into me, and I was going to foul him," Allen said. "I was trying to run him off the (3-point line), but he just stayed there. That was a tough shot."
Tough shots have been a part of Kidd's Hall of Fame-worthy resume for years, which is surprising when you consider shooting the ball was clearly his greatest weakness when he came into the NBA.
"I have a lot of opportunities because I'm open," said Kidd, who has made 1,742 3s which ranks third all-time behind Reggie Miller and Allen. "You just have to work at it. I've been fortunate to make a couple (3s). But I've taken a lot, too."
But none bigger on Friday night than the one with the game clock winding down, the kind of shot that shows the progress and improvement in Kidd's shot through the years.
Allen said Kidd's shooting skills are often overlooked because he has been such a dominant playmaker for the bulk of his career.
"He didn't really have to shoot, but that's what kept him around for so long as he's been around is being able to facilitate, being a great teammate, and knocking down the open shot, keep the floor spaced," Allen said. "It's just a message to all the young guys to just continue to hone your skills, and I think he's done that."
As far as Kidd being overlooked for his shooting prowess, Kevin Garnett doesn't buy that.
"If you look at his track record, he has hit big shots, he's put teams on his back, he's carried the load and responsibility for a long time," Garnett said. "He's no shag of a player, nothing like that. He's a respected player. Everybody in our organization and our locker room respects this dude."
After shooting a paltry 27.2 percent on 3s as a rookie in 1994-1995, Kidd shot 42.5 percent last season.
A career 34.8 percent shooter, Kidd has shot better than 40 percent on 3s in each of the last three seasons.
"Paul (Pierce) and I understand, we know he has been around a long time," Garnett said. "You don't just be around or in the league just because. He has hit big shots for tme from time to time. Tonight was no different."