Celtics

Allen breaks 3-point record, savors the moment

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Allen breaks 3-point record, savors the moment

By JessicaCamerato
CSNNE.com

BOSTON - For 2,560 three-pointers, Ray Allen was a basketball player. He celebrated the baskets in fist pumps, high fives, and elevated shoulder bumps with his teammates.

But after knocking down his record-breaking 2,561st long-range shot, he was a human being. He celebrated in handshakes, hugs, and long embraces with family members.

Allen has spent the past 15 years making three-point shooting look effortless. His quick release looks automatic and his smooth follow-through seems like second nature.

There is little time for thinking about each basket in the flow of the game. Catch and shoot . . . then move on.

On Thursday night in front of a home crowd, however, Allen was able to take a moment to bask in the magnitude of his accomplishments.

Allen broke Reggie Millers all-time 3-point record in the first quarter of the Boston Celtics game against the Los Angeles Lakers at TD Garden. He tied Millers mark (2,560) with 4:14 left in the quarter and passed it less than three minutes later.

When the buzzer sounded at the end of the quarter, Allen was able to step outside of his role as a basketball player and enjoy the feat without a shot clock or defender in his face.

It was a moment he had anticipated - and pondered - as he neared the mark.

Allen spoke with Miller, who was broadcasting the game, earlier in the day and asked for advice beforehand. Determining how to celebrate the record posed more of a question than how to break it.

I told him, What do I do? I dont know what to do,' said Allen. Do I just sit there and look stupid or do I stand up? I dont know. Reggie said, 'I dont know either. I just think youve got to do whatever you feel because that is your moment.' I said, Well I am glad youre here because this is your moment as well, and Im glad I can share it with you.

Allen acknowledged the crowd and then walked across the court to the broadcast table where Miller was working. First a handshake, then a hug. The two enjoyed a moment of mutual admiration for each others careers.

Allens mother stood just feet away on the court, waiting patiently to congratulate the son who she has tirelessly cheered on night in and night out. Their special moment was captured on the Jumbotron, with emotions displayed throughout the entire arena.

Allen then made his way over to his family. Amid screaming fans, he was a son, a husband, a father.

Once the timeout came, I just knew I had to go over there and say thank you again to Reggie, he said. My mom was standing there, she was in tears, so I wanted to make sure I thanked my family for being there for me. You dont do anything in any sport or job, without the backbone of your family. Theyre making sure I have the confidence to walk out of the house, so I can come here and do this job every night, making sure I eat right, that the kids are taken care of. Without them, I cant be who I am.

And Allen knows the Celtics wouldnt be who they are without their fans, either. Allen needed four 3-pointers to break the record when the Celtics played the Bobcats in Charlotte on Monday. He made two that night.

It was all about these fans in Boston, it was all about the fans in Boston, he said. I think about anything Ive ever done in my career, the stage here is set, and everybody was ready. Going back a game or so ago in Charlotte, the stage wasnt there, and I knew people wanted to see me do it. If I did it, I did it, but the stage here was set. When I ran out on the floor, and saw all the signs, and all the people.

This record, I just didnt really understand until that moment just how big it was.

After 15 years, Allen was able to take a moment to realize it all.

Jessica Camerato is on Twitter athttp:twitter.comjcameratoNBA

Celtics thought it would be good . . . but this good?

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Celtics thought it would be good . . . but this good?

After arriving in Boston and spending some time with his new teammates, Kyrie Irving felt good about this group doing big things this season. 

But when asked about the experience thus far being what he thought it would be, Irving responded, “It’s probably exceeded that.”

He’s not alone. 

Few would have envisioned the Celtics (15-2) would have the best record in the NBA at this point, let alone be riding a 15-game winning streak which ranks as the fifth-best winning streak in franchise history. 

Irving and his Celtics teammates will try and keep it going tonight when they take on the Dallas Mavericks.

Irving’s ability to mesh with his teammates and still find success was among the many questions out there when the Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers pulled off the blockbuster trade this offseason. 

Blending in has not been an issue for Irving, bolstered by the reality that his game stands out. 

We saw that in Boston’s 110-99 win over the Atlanta Hawks, which was a game in which Irving had 30 points on an insanely efficient 10-for-12 shooting night. 

There were many factors that went into Irving’s strong night against the Hawks, but he said it really came down to one thing above all else.

“I just made some damn shots for once,” Irving quipped. “That right there kind of made it seem better than I actually been shooting over the start of the season.  It would also contribute to being able to be in the right spots and guys being selfless in their approach driving to the basket or getting into the paint. It’s tell-tale sign of all of us getting more comfortable.”

Here are five below-the-radar story lines to keep an eye on as the Boston Celtics face the Dallas Mavericks, with Boston gunning for its 16th straight win. 

BROWN’S POSITIVE PLAY

Jaylen Brown has been on a bit of an offensive tear of late, the last being a career-high 27-point performance in Boston’s win over Atlanta. But even more telling is how well things seem to flow with him on the floor. Brown’s plus/minus this season is +146 which is tops among all players in the Eastern Conference. His closest competition in the East? That would teammate Al Horford whose plus/minus this season is +143. In addition, Horford has had a positive plus/minus in every game this season. 

YOGI FERRELL

You can count Yogi Ferrell among the ones that got away from Brad Stevens when he was coaching at Butler. Ferrell, who played at Indiana, was a player on Stevens’ radar when he was coaching at Butler. “I recruited Yogi, unsuccessfully,” Stevens told reporters in Dallas. While Ferrell came on strong as an undrafted free agent with the Mavericks last season, Stevens said there’s nothing about Ferrell’s game now that he didn’t see when he tried to woo him to Butler. “He would have been awfully good at Butler,” Stevens said.

HOMECOMING

While Marcus Smart grew up in Flower Mound, Texas (less than an hour from Dallas), tonight’s game is a homecoming of sorts for another Celtics player – Semi Ojeleye. The 6-foot-7 forward played at SMU which is located in Dallas. A second-round pick by Boston in last June’s NBA draft, Ojeleye has been among the many surprise performers for the Celtics this season. “We knew he could be a versatile defender,” said Celtics head coach Brad Stevens. “Probably has exceeded our expectations in that regard with his ability to guard one (point guard) through five (center) at certain times. And he’s been pretty consistent shooting the ball. Right now, embracing that kind of 3-and-D role is what he has to do and he’s done it well.”

DEEP DRAFT CLASS

The Boston Celtics struck gold by drafting Jayson Tatum with the third overall pick. But as you look at the teams that had lottery picks in last June’s NBA draft, few come away feeling disappointed or discouraged by the player selected. The Dallas Mavericks are among the teams pleased with their first-round pick, Dennis Smith Jr. who was selected with the ninth overall pick. He has emerged as one of the top rookies this year, averaging 14.5 points, 4.5 assists and 4.2 rebounds per game. And yes, he was a player that was on the Celtics’ radar leading up to last June’s draft. “We had Dennis in and he was really impressive,” said Celtics head coach Brad Stevens. “He’s a guy that’s going to have a great career and he’s got good veteran players around him to help kick it off.”

DIRK NOWITZKI

The numbers aren’t anywhere close to what we’ve seen for the bulk of Dirk Nowitzki’s illustrious career that’s now in Year 20. But there is a demeanor about him that seems to be at peace with where he’s at basketball-wise, even if the wins aren’t nearly as plentiful as he’s accustomed to. “I appreciate his game a ton,” said Celtics head coach Brad Stevens. “Just watching him talk on the court, cheer on the bench, sit at the scorer’s table with a smile on his face. You can’t play this long and be this good this long if you don’t’ love it. Everybody says they love it, but he’s got a different level of passion. You can feel it, you can see it. You root for guys like him to have success.”

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

WATCH: Celtics vs. Mavericks

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WATCH: Celtics vs. Mavericks

Tune into NBC Sports Boston to watch the Celtics play the Mavericks in Dallas. You can also click here to watch the Celtics livestream presented by Nissan on the NBC Sports App. Coverage begins at 7:30 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live Presented by ACE Ticket.

- Game preview: C's need to play Smart in Dallas

- Channel Finder: Make sure you know where to watch

[SHOP: Gear up, Celtics fans!]

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE