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NBA finals, Lakers Celtics Game 2: How Ray Allen got his groove back (and the Celtics, too)

Jun 7, 2010, 12:51 AM EDT

Allen_pure.jpgIn June 1992, Ray Allen was doing what every other basketball crazed 16-year-old in the nation was doing — watching Michael Jordan rain threes on the Portland Trail Blazers. Six of them in Game 1 of the finals. Leading the Bulls to a crushing of the Trail Blazers.

Tonight, Ray Allen was better than that. He was better than anyone has been from deep in the finals.

Others had bested MJ for a night, too. Scottie Pippen hit seven threes in the finals once, so did Kenny Smith. But those guys were both secondary scorers on a team — they were the outlet when the main man was covered. They were not the guy expected to carry the load. They were not 34 years old at the time.

Allen is those things, and he carried the load like Hercules. He was better than Pippen and Smith.

Allen started 7 for 7 from three and finished 8 for 11 from beyond the arc. More threes than any other player has ever made in a finals game. He carried Boston though the first half with 27 points, and the Celtics went on to win 103-94 to even the series.

“Mike, I’m going to tell him his were a lot easier,” Allen joked.

Three nights before Allen wasn’t joking around. He was frustrated; he had been sitting with fouls. It made him a little tentative. He became a facilitator, not a shooter, and the Lakers won comfortably.

Sunday night Allen was running off the multiple screens he always get and there just seemed to be more room. His first couple threes were good looks, and he got in a rhythm. And when one of the greatest jumper shooters ever to lace up a pair of high tops gets going, there is nothing anyone can do. He had 27 first half points and almost single-handedly kept his team in it.

“Well, it makes me a better coach, I can tell you that,” Doc Rivers said of Allen’s jumper. “And when you draw up these plays and he makes them, you feel a lot smarter.”

The only way to stop Ray Allen when he gets like this is to get the ball out of his hands, but the Lakers are poorly matched up to do that. Because Los Angeles puts the longer Kobe Bryant on Rajon Rondo, Derek Fisher has to chase Allen around all those picks. Fisher is not that fast and Allen has a few inches and can shoot over him easily. Fisher’s strength is to be able to bump people off their line, but Allen got to any spot he wanted on the floor.

“Well, you know, when (the referees) take away any bumps, when Fish is trying to make (Allen) divert his path and they don’t allow him to do that, they call fouls on Fish and that really gives him the opportunity to take whatever route he wants to make off the pickers,” Phil Jackson said, longing for the days of the legal hand check. “That makes it very difficult.”

In the second half the Lakers adjusted, switching a big off onto Allen as he came off a strong-side pick, forcing Allen to shoot over the long arm of Andrew Bynum or Pau Gasol. It worked, Allen was just 1 of 3 and had an airball from deep in the second half.

But it opened up other things for Boston, because on the switch Fisher had to guard Big Baby or Kendrick Perkins in the post. Then there was Rondo, who was taking the game over on his own in the second half.

But by then the Celtics were in a groove they never got in during all of Game 1. You can thank Ray Allen and one of the best shooting games ever in the finals for that.

  1. Lakers4Lyfe - Jun 7, 2010 at 12:25 PM

    lol, notice how the Boston fans (Laker haters) come out of the woodwork on a win, but you can’t find them when they lose? The difference is Lakers fan show up either way. Even Celtics know Ray Allen had the game of his life and won’t repeat that in this series or any other. Even Celtics know that and realize they have walked out of the Gardens losing almost as many games as they won this year. 23-17. That’s sad …575. That includes the playoffs. Ray Allen is averaging 16.3 points a game season to date, so I’m not worried at all with this loss. Ray Allen was the difference and his miracle game won’t be repeated at home or on the road.

  2. Lakers4Lyfe - Jun 7, 2010 at 12:33 PM

    … and then Paul Piece says with 1:10 to go that the Celtics won’t be coming back to LA. Oh, man … did he really? Yea, he really did.

  3. SanClementeJedi - Jun 7, 2010 at 12:34 PM

    Lakers 41 free throw attempts Celtics 26 free throw attempts, so please spare me the whining about the refs giving the game to the Celts. Lakers got punched in the mouth and didnt get up from the mat.

  4. Savoir Laire - Jun 7, 2010 at 12:36 PM

    Oh really, Lakers girly man? Why don’t you go back and look at the comments after game one, including mine? What you are obviously too stupid to realize it that it doesn’t matter whether Allen does this again…someone else will step up in his place if he doesn’t. It’s called a team, moron–that’s T-E-A-M, for those of you in Rio Linda–the Celtics don’t rely on one star (LeBron, Kobe, Wade) to carry them. They are a veteran team that is a pleasure to watch compared to the other one trick ponies. Like I said, LA is going down, because they are not even close to the complete team that Boston is. Oooh, when is Shannon Brown going to break out? How about that other big stud, Derek Fisher? Hah! It’s Kobe, Gausol (sometimes) and a bunch of selfish, crappy role players…sing it with me, I hate LA, I hate LA!

  5. Anonymous - Jun 7, 2010 at 12:40 PM

    You need to stay of the Cal. beaches because your brain is fried. You might be right about one thing, Ray Allen may not do that again but there are two others who will step up. Your pathetic Lakers shut down two of the BIG Three and still lost. Go ahead, blame it on the refs. big baby. Pathetic. Take your loss like a man and just except it.

  6. sanclementejedi - Jun 7, 2010 at 12:42 PM

    How much class can your team have if your best player is a rapist? Then you big off season move is to bring in a thug who attacks fans in the stands. Stay Classy Lakers

  7. Anonymous - Jun 7, 2010 at 12:48 PM

    Apparently you missed the flop of ray allen after kobe “hit” his head with his own. Consummate professional indeed.

  8. Krazzzy4 - Jun 7, 2010 at 1:05 PM

    Hmmm…so, whatever happened to the Lakers last night??? The BIG strong Kobe Bryant’s team from the West got crushed by just 2 of the Boston’s players that actually participated. By the way, the Celtics also stole a home-field advantage from the Lakers already on Game 2. They have won more titles in the past and will continue winning more titles in the future. These Fakers are not getting past the Celtics…BOSTON CELTICS!

  9. Hackpiper - Jun 7, 2010 at 1:21 PM

    Gee, a brief visit to the LA Times web site — not to troll, mind you, but just to see what’s being said by the writers and readers of that esteemed publication — led me to this astonishing piece of REALLY sour grapes:
    Wow! No comment!

  10. obvious - Jun 7, 2010 at 1:21 PM

    Kobe’s post game face says it all. What a baby. Everytime he misses a shot his hands go straight to the air wanting a call regardless if anyone was around him or not. Go back and watch it, he does it every time.
    What makes you think allen can’t repeat? He drains big shot after big shot all the time. He just shot the ball more this game. LA doesn’t have the upper hand anymore.

  11. Kansachusetts - Jun 7, 2010 at 1:29 PM

    For the multiple Lakers fans who say Ray Allen will never have another game like last night’s. Last night he broke the finals record he set in GAME 6 against LA in 2008, you idiots. That means that in two out of the last three finals games against L.A. he has hit seven or more threes.
    So you’ll be lucky if he doesn’t do it again in game 4 and then again in game 6, when Boston finishes this series. Oh the whining! I can’t wait.

  12. Hackpiper - Jun 7, 2010 at 1:30 PM

    Gee, a brief visit to the LA Times web site — not to troll, mind you, but just to see what’s being said by the writers and readers of that esteemed publication — led me to this astonishing piece of REALLY sour grapes….
    Wow! No comment!
    OK…let’s try that again:
    Read and…uh…enjoy.

  13. SunsFan4Life - Jun 7, 2010 at 1:35 PM

    I am sorry, but I think 3 straight for the Lakers is a pipe dream.

  14. ted - Jun 7, 2010 at 1:37 PM

    Why wouldn’t they want to come back to LA? They’re a super road team, the playoffs have proven that. Why give ammunition to the Lakers making such a statement? If it weren’t for Allen shooting out the lights the Celtics would be down 0-2 and Pierce would be scrambling for answers and defending his own sub par performance.
    Don’t be an idiot Paul, just play the game and leave the predictions to the weather people. That way if you’re wrong you won’t be crucified by the press and everyone else.

  15. Anonymous - Jun 7, 2010 at 1:51 PM

    Hey Moron,
    Since he had more threes last night than anyone in the history of the NBA has ever had in a finals game, he probably won’t repeat it. However, you may have missed the fact that he is the all-time leading three-point shooter (percentage-wise) in NBA finals history… oh and one other thing (I love people like you who speak from raw emotion without the slightest bit of knowledge)…”On June 17, 2008, in the series-ending Game 6 of the NBA Finals, Allen tied an NBA Finals record with seven three-pointers in the Celtics’ 131–92 victory of the Los Angeles Lakers.” HOW SOON YOU FORGOT!

  16. RichWizl2 - Jun 7, 2010 at 3:08 PM

    That’s quite the article in the LA times by that TJ Whatever Guy. He doesn’t understand that Boston lost game 1 because their defense was horrible and Doc made them work a lot harder on it. Both teams are great but Boston can spread it around more. KG is definitely going to get better and so is Paul Pierce. Kobe is great and defenders need help in covering him, but LA has no answer for Rajon Rondo; he is just way too fast for anyone on the court and can dish wherever he pleases for the easy bucket. Forget what Boston did in regular season; they are relatively healthy now and they’re iron in any Finals. One of the two great teams must crack.

  17. MGK - Jun 7, 2010 at 3:13 PM


  18. Anonymous - Jun 7, 2010 at 3:46 PM

    Im a HUGE celtics fan and I spent most of last night just yelling at my t.v. I am so sick of the horrible officiating. Its silly. Kobe should not have been called for 5 fouls anymore than Ray Allen should during game 1. Honestly the first 2 games shouldnt even count. Niether team has been able to put there best out for an entire game because of the moronic foul calls. I want to see the best from the Celtics and Lakers and let the chips fall where they may. The Refs feel like they are the show. They should all be replaced.

  19. Ron - Jun 7, 2010 at 4:03 PM

    Game 3 Lakers.
    Game 4, Boston
    Game 5 Lakers
    Game 6 Lakers.
    REALLY??? I doubt the Lakers can win two out of three in Boston
    My prediction is that the Lakers win one in Boston…
    and win the series in 7, although if the series does go seven games
    don’t underestimate the Celtics in a Game 7.

  20. Jeffrey - Jun 7, 2010 at 4:11 PM

    Bud Selig will come over, replace Stern, and let this be the first series that ends 3 games each and he’ll cancel game 7… tell your friends

  21. b sievers - Jun 7, 2010 at 5:24 PM

    I gotta agree with laker4lyfe this series wont go 7, Celtics in 6.

  22. bowlrmark - Jun 7, 2010 at 8:23 PM

    so far, it is a curse to shoot more FTs than your opponent. The team shooting more FTs has lost both games.
    …so a key to victory seems to be to shoot LESS FTs than the other guys!

  23. Old ref - Jun 8, 2010 at 12:17 AM

    I refereed well over a thousand BB games during my refereeing days, none where the players were paid. Mostly Pee Wees thru High School, some times six or more games on a Saturday.
    Basketball was the most difficult of the five sports that I officiated in those years. I am only 5′ 8″ tall and that was not so significant back when there were few players over 6′ 3″ and I could see most of the action by keeping moving. Now, it would be different with many HS’ers over 6′ 6″, and a much faster tempo.
    I will say this that after the starting jump ball, I really did not acknowledge which team was which. I was so busy, only two refs at most. I was not conscious of any team, except the colors of the uniforms. So as far as favoring one team, I never could do that.
    The rules were only a bit different then, than they are now. There was no acting then. I probably would have sent a player to the bench with a message to his coach.
    I actually started my refereeing BB before I was fifteen years old. It was all volunteer then. I didn’t even have access to a black and white striped shirt, so my brother’s wife made me one. The only source of an official’s shirt was a mail order firm in Chicago. After the end of WWII when the returning GIs formed city leagues in most every Kansas town, there were no referee associations to provide officiating for those leagues. My brother (a former WWII Marine) pressed me into refereeing the home games to start with and then it grew to the away games. I learned the tough way to try and get it right the first call. Those Vets could be tough! It grew on me, and in my HS junior year I ref’ed Junior Hi games for $1 a game. Through my Korean war USN service I continued as a volunteer and also as member of the local Officiating Association in basketball, football, baseball, softball, volleyball and track it into my 50s, here in the Pacific NW.
    As far as the officiating of last night’s Celtics-Lakers game. I didn’t find any bias either way. A Ref under the basket has such a big percentage of the overall responsibility to try and see all that he can, and get it right, but he can’t! That’s why the three refs rotate every possession if they can to balance their responsibilities.
    You cannot compare what you see on TV with what the ref sees from the floor. As far as Kobe’s fifth fowl, the under basket ref saw Rhondo trip, and called a logical fowl. Does he always get it right, well, no, but the calls balanced out through the end of the game. The Celtics brought a lot more to the game than the Lakers did. And the Celtics are a lot more experienced at stretching their game than the Lakers are. That will be very significant in the rest of the Ch. series.

  24. The Truth - Jun 8, 2010 at 1:35 AM

    Paul Pierce should know better. This series will definitely go to the Lakers. Even with Ray Allen’s incredible performance, the Celtics barely eeked it out. There’s nothing the Celts will be able to do to stop the down low domination during the rest of the series. Had Kobe not been called on dumb fouls, it would’ve gone to the Lakers. KG just doesn’t have it anymore so it probably helped the Celts to have him in foul trouble. What’s the point of a 6-11 guy who can’t get boards? Finally, Doc Rivers has his hands full with Phil Jackson. This Celtics team looks just like last year’s Magic. A bunch of guys that can shoot, but don’t know how to utilize size. 3 pointers win games, big men win championships.

  25. Foul Dwimmerlaik - Jun 9, 2010 at 2:10 AM

    Have you watched Game 3 doofus? I think Fisher heard your lame-brained comments. Just reading all you Laker-hater posts after Game 3 Smackdown at the Garden is a joy to read. Eat crap, idiot. BWAHAHAHA!!!

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