Celtics

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

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WATCH: Celtics vs. Mavericks

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Celtics-Mavericks preview: C's need to play Smart vs. Dallas

Celtics-Mavericks preview: C's need to play Smart vs. Dallas

Get it done. No excuses.
 
That has been how the Boston Celtics have played most of this season.
 
And if there’s one Celtics player who embodies that on this team, it’s Marcus Smart.
 
The fourth-year guard has struggled all season with his shot-making, but when the game is on the line in the fourth quarter you can count on Smart to be on the floor.

THE WINNING STREAK

He has been among the many reasons Boston has won 15 in a row, which is the fifth-longest winning streak in franchise history.
 
And Smart will be among the Celtics looking to keep it going tonight against the Dallas Mavericks.
 
Most likely, Smart will make an impact with his defense, which is among the best in the NBA.

How good?
 
Smart has a defensive rating of 93.4 (points allowed per 100 possessions) which is tops among all guards in the NBA, and ranks third among all players who have played in at least 10 games this season.
 
But in the 110-99 win over the Hawks, Smart knocked down a couple of 3-pointers which was a big deal considering how mightily he has struggled shooting the ball this season.
 
Smart is shooting 27.3 percent from the field as well as from 3-point range – both career lows.
 
However, he’s also averaging career highs in assists (4.5) and rebounds (5.1) this season.
 
And while he certainly doesn’t appear to be affected by the shooting struggles, he acknowledges that it is something that he can’t help but think about from time to time.
 
“It does affect you, especially if you’ve been working (on shooting) all summer,” Smart said. “At the same time, I don’t take as many shots. But like I said, we got other guys who are playing well. My job is to get them the ball and do whatever I can, go back down the floor, play defense and get the ball again.”

In Boston’s win over Atlanta, Smart spent a good amount of time defending Marco Belinelli who had four points on 2-for-10 shooting compared to 19 points on 6-for-10 shooting when these two teams met earlier this month.
 
Coach Brad Stevens pointed to the job Smart did on Belinelli, in addition to the clutch offensive rebound he was able to snag and quickly put back up and in that gave Boston a 103-95 game with about two minutes to play.
 
“He was really good,” Stevens said.
 
The same could be said for most of the Celtics of late.
 
Kyrie Irving is coming off his most efficient game of the season, tallying 30 points on 10-for-12 shooting from the field. Jayson Tatum had a rough start, but he came on strong as well with 14 points – all coming in the second half.
 
But the backbone of Boston’s success lies in what they’re able to get done defensively.
 
So far, Boston’s defense has been as strong as we’ve seen this early, in quite some time.
 
Boston, which has a league-best defensive rating of 95.9, has length, savvy and an overall total buy-in by the players on what Brad Stevens is looking for, from them.
 
Meanwhile, the Mavericks (3-14) are coming off their most impressive victory this season, a 111-79 win over Milwaukee.  Dennis Smith Jr. has been among the more talented rookies this season. He’s averaging 14.5 points, 4.2 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game. Dallas is indeed in a transition period where longtime superstar Dirk Nowitzki (10.3 points, 5.5 rebounds per game) is gradually passing the torch to his younger teammates like Harrison Barnes (18.7 points, 7.1 rebounds) and Smith Jr.
 
Much like the Hawks game, the Celtics must approach this game with a focus on the opponent and not their record.
 
Because the Celtics are no longer just a good team on the schedule. They are a measuring stick for most to see how they stack up against the league’s best.
 
And the Celtics understand how their success has changed how teams see them.
 
“Now that we have a reputation, I think everyone is coming for us,” said Boston’s Jaylen Brown. “Now we have to come play even harder, and I think we can do that. I think we are more than capable.”

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