By A.Sherrod Blakely
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."