Celtics

Five things on Allen's road to the 3-point record

Five things on Allen's road to the 3-point record

Ray Allen knocked down his first three-point shot just minutes into his NBA debut. Since then he has amassed a total of 2,559 treys over his 15-year career.

On Thursday night, he has the opportunity to break Reggie Millers all-time 3-point field goal record (2,560) against the Los Angles Lakers at TD Garden. It will take one to tie, two to break, and with Allen shooting a career-best 46.2 percent from long-range, the mark is well within reach.

My perspective on basketball never changed. I still always felt like I had to figure out how to play the game, Allen told CSNNE.com. It's just something that happened because I've been healthy and playing on good teams and taking care of myself.

Here are five things to know about Allens journey toward the record:

How It All Began

And it began quickly. Allen made his first NBA 3-point field goal three minutes into his rookie debut on November 1, 1996. He shot 2-for-3 from long-range as the Milwaukee Bucks defeated the Philadelphia 76ers, 111-103, on Opening Night. Allen, who was in the starting lineup with former Celtics Vin Baker and Sherman Douglas, finished with 13 points.

When Reggie Set the Record

A 22-year-old Allen was in his second year in the NBA, playing for the Bucks. He had made just 244 3-pointers when Miller set the current record on April 13, 1998. Allen, ironically, shot 0-for-6 from three-point range the following night. That season he ranked 9th overall in 3-pointers. Miller ranked second and Wesley Person led the league.

Welcome to Boston

Allen scored his first 3-pointer as a Celtic on Opening Night, November 2, 2007, at TD Garden against the Washington Wizards. He hit the shot with 56 seconds left in the first quarter. Credit the assist to . . . Brian Scalabrine. Allen has scored 639 treys since being traded to the Celtics. (He made 1,051 as a member of the Bucks and 869 with the Seattle SuperSonics.)

Give Him a Ten

Allen's regular season single-game high is 10 3-pointers, set on April 14, 2002 in a Bucks win over the Charlotte Hornets. Allen is one of six players to hit 10 treys in a game - Joe Dumars, George McCloud, Brian Shaw, J.R. Smith, and Peja Stojakovic have done it as well. Kobe Bryant and Donyell Marshall share the record with 12 3-point field goals in a single game.

Getting It Done in the Playoffs

Allen set an NBA Finals record last season with eight 3-pointers in Game 2 against the Los Angeles Lakers at the Staples Center. He connected for seven treys against the Lakers in the 2008 Finals and previously shared that mark with Scottie Pippen and Kenny Smith. Allens career-high postseason total is 57 treys in the 2001 playoffs with the Bucks. Miller made a league-record 58 the previous postseason.
Allens quest toward the record will begin on Thursday night at 8pm EST in front of the Celtics home crowd.

"Definitely, this is the place to do it, the place to be, said Allen. It just seems right, being in this building."

Follow Jessica Camerato on Twitter at http:www.twitter.comjcameratonba

SIDEBAR

When the First Shot Fell

On Thursday night the Boston Celtics have the opportunity to experience NBA history if Ray Allen breaks the all-time 3-point record, currently held by Reggie Miller. See where the Celtics were when Allens prowess began on November 1, 1996:

Michael Jordan scored 30 points against the Celtics in a 107-98 Chicago Bulls win. Dana Barros led the C's with 24 points off the bench.

Shaquille O'Neal played his first game as a Los Angeles Laker, recording a double-double with 23 points and 14 rebounds, in a 96-82 victory over the Phoenix Suns.

Kevin Garnett began his second NBA season with 17 points, 9 rebounds, 6 assists, and 3 steals as the Minnesota Timberwolves beat the San Antonio Spurs, 82-78.

Paul Pierce was gearing up for his sophomore season at the University of Kansas.

Avery Bradley was three weeks shy of his 6th birthday.

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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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