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

With Thomas drawing attention, Stevens turns to Rozier in big moment

With Thomas drawing attention, Stevens turns to Rozier in big moment

BOSTON – Prior to Saturday’s game, Terry Rozier talked to CSNNE.com about the importance of staying ready always, because “you never know when your name or number is going to be called.”

Like when trailing by three points in the fourth quarter with less than 10 seconds to play?

Yes, Rozier was on the floor in that scenario and the second-year guard delivered when his team needed it.

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But Rozier’s fourth quarter heroics which forced overtime against Portland, did not provide that much-needed jolt that Boston needed as the Blazers managed to fend off the Celtics in overtime, 127-123.

For Rozier’s part, he had 15 points on 6-for-13 shooting.

The 15 points scored for Rozier was the most for him since he tallied 16 in a 30-point Celtics win at Orlando on Dec. 7.

But more than the points, the decision by head coach Brad Stevens to draw up a play for him in that moment, a time when most of what Boston does revolves around the shooting of Isaiah Thomas who has been among the top-3 scorers in the fourth quarter most of this season, was surprising to many.

And at that point in the game, Thomas already had 13 fourth-quarter points.

Stevens confirmed after the game that the last shot in the fourth was indeed for Rozier, but Thomas’ presence on the floor was important to its execution.

“He (Thomas) also draws a lot of attention,” Stevens said. “So I think you just weigh kind of … what kind of shot you’re going to get, depending on who it is.”

Rozier had initially screened for Thomas, and Thomas came back and screened for him.

“I was open as soon as I caught … and I let it fly,” Rozier said. “Coach drew up a play for me and it felt good to see the ball go in.”

Being on the floor at that time, win or lose, was a victory of sorts for Rozier.

He has seen first-hand how quickly the tide can change in the NBA for a young player.

After a strong summer league showing and a solid training camp, Rozier had earned himself a firm spot in the team’s regular rotation.

But a series of not-so-great games coupled with Gerald Green’s breakout night on Christmas Day, led to his playing time since then becoming more sporadic.

Rozier, in an interview with CSNNE.com, acknowledged it hasn’t been easy going from playing regular minutes to not being sure how much court time, if any, he would receive.

But he says the veterans on the team have been good about keeping his spirits up, and one in particular – Avery Bradley – has been especially helpful.

Like Rozier, Bradley’s first couple of years saw his playing time go from non-existent to inconsistent. But Bradley stayed the course and listened to the team’s veterans who continued to tell him that his hard work would pay off sooner or later.

Those same words of wisdom Bradley received in his early days, he passes on to Rozier.

“It’s big,” Rozier told CSNNE.com. “He (Bradley) tells me things like that. I felt I was ready for this (inconsistent minutes) after all that he told me. It’s big to have a guy like him that has been through it all with a championship team, been around this organization for a while; have him talk to you is big. It’s always good. That’s why I stay positive, and be ready.”

Which is part of the reason why Stevens didn’t hesitate to call up a play for the second-year guard despite him being a 33.3 percent shooter from 3-point range this season – that ranks eighth on this team, mind you.

“He’s a really good shooter,” Stevens said of Rozier. “I think with more opportunity that will show itself true, but he made some big ones in the fourth quarter. We went to him a few different times out of time-outs, and felt good about him making that one.”

And to know that Stevens will turn to him not just to spell Thomas or one of the team’s other guards, but to actually make a game-altering play in the final seconds … that’s major.

“It helps tremendously,” said Rozier who added that his confidence is through “the roof. It makes me want to do everything. You know defense, all of that. It’s great, especially to have a guy like Brad trust you."

Stars, studs and duds: Lillard steps up in second half, overtime

Stars, studs and duds: Lillard steps up in second half, overtime

BOSTON – Saturday was yet another night when the opposing team – this time it was the Portland Trail Blazers – that up the Boston Celtics with an avalanche of points that ended in a 127-123 overtime loss.

And yet through the rubble of all those lay-ups and put-back baskets and mid-range jumpers, Stevens saw something he has not seen in a while – hope that better days defensively were coming sooner rather than later.

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“As crazy as it sounds with them scoring (127) … I actually thought we were a lot closer to defending the way we want to defend," said Stevens. "I thought we were really locked into those guards, and I thought we tried to make it as tough as possible. Those guys are really good players, obviously, but I thought, I thought we did a lot of good things in that regard.”

For the most part, Boston and Portland played a relatively even game that wasn’t decided until the final minute of overtime.

“They just made more plays down the stretch,” said Boston’s Al Horford.

Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds from Saturday’s game.

 

STARS

C.J. McCollum

He tends to get second billing to Damian Lillard, but he was a first rate problem for the Celtics. He led the Blazers with 35 points on 11-for-21 shooting.

Damian Lillard

After a foul-troubled first half, Lillard stepped up like the All-Star he is in the second half to finish with 28 points and seven assists which included seven of Portland’s 14 points in overtime.

Isaiah Thomas

It was another dynamic scoring night for Thomas, finishing with a game-high 41 points which included 21 in the fourth quarter and overtime.


STUDS

Terry Rozier

Making the most of his chance to play due to injuries and illnesses, Rozier came up with a number of big shots all night. He finished with 15 points which included a 3-pointer with 8.4 seconds in the fourth that forced overtime.

Mason Plumlee

In addition to doing a solid job protecting the rim, Plumlee also tallied a double-double of 10 points and 11 rebounds while dishing out a game-high eight assists.

Meyers Leonard

Easily the big X-factor of the game, Leonard had 17 points off the bench on 6-for-7 shooting.

 

DUDS

Celtics Turnovers

This is the one area where the Celtics have been really good all season. Saturday? Not so much. Boston turned the ball over a season-high 21 times which accounted for 34 points for the Blazers.