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Ray: We probably got away with one

03.08.10 at 12:20 am ET
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Ray Allen felt comfortable all night.

With a game-high 25 points and 4-of-6 shooting from beyond the 3-point line, the stats say as much.

The problem was ‘€” for 42 minutes ‘€” the Washington Wizards felt just as good in nearly everything they did.

With the Celtics down 13 points, that’s when Allen said the C’s finally got to their opponent, opening the door for him to play hero in the final 93 seconds.

‘€œIt was night and day. We put a lot of pressure on them. We made them play away from the basket. We forced them to be more uncomfortable than we did in the first half,” said Allen, whose trey with 17.1 seconds remaining proved to be the difference in Boston’s 86-83 win.

Asked if the Celtics might have gotten away with a win when maybe they didn’t deserve one, Allen was as honest as he could be.

‘€œYou could say probably in a small way we did,” he admitted. “But we fought for it, we never gave up or thought it was over with, so it bowed in our favor tonight.’€

Read More: Celtics, NBA, Ray Allen, Wizards

Fast Break: Celtics vs. Wizards

03.07.10 at 10:46 pm ET
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It looked like another disappointing home loss for the Celtics. Down by 12 in the third quarter, the C’s were on the verge of falling to the Wizards just a week after being upset by the Nets.

But that’s when their winning experience came into play. The Celtics outscored the Wizards 24-17 in the fourth quarter to secure a 86-83 comeback victory.

Turning Point: Down 81-77, Rajon Rondo scored a fastbreak layup and drew the foul on Al Thornton with 1:37 to go. He missed the free throw, but Kendrick Perkins kicked out the offensive rebound to Ray Allen, who drained a trey. This capped a 16-2 Celtics run and put them up, 82-81.

Player of the game: Ray Allen (25 points) got the Celtics momentum back with a pair of treys in the third quarter. Not only did he hit a go-ahead 3-pointer in the fourth, he knocked down the game-winning 3 with 17 seconds left.

– Rondo scored just two points in the first half. He got hot late in the third to score seven points in a span of two-minutes. He finished the game with 15 points.

Michael Finley was inactive and watched the game from the end of the Celtics bench in a charcoal suit.

Tony Allen played two minutes in his first game back since injuring his hip on Wednesday against the Bobcats.

The Celtics are now 6-5 on Sundays and improved to 25-6 against sub-.500 opponents.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Ray Allen,

Third Quarter Wrap: Celtics vs. Wizards

03.07.10 at 10:00 pm ET
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If the Celtics are going to take back this game, they have just 12 more minutes to do so. They trail 66-62 after three quarters.

The C’s struggled to piece together a total team effort coming out of halftime. Paul Pierce and Kendrick Perkins were the only players to score for the first 5:49 of the quarter. The C’s also went scoreless during a 3:45 stretch in which the Wizards pushed their lead up to 11 points.

Ray Allen gave the Celtics a spark midway through the quarter with a pair of 3s. Then it was Rajon Rondo’s turn. He scored seven points two minutes to bring the Celtics back within four.

The Celtics have momentum heading into the fourth, but they still have to dig themselves out of a deficit. They are 7-14 when trailing after three quarters.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Rajon Rondo, Washington Wizards,

Halftime: Celtics-Wizards

03.07.10 at 9:10 pm ET
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The first half was best summed up by a fan in the next row: “C’mon, it’s the Wizards!”

Once again, the Celtics have their work cut out for them against a bad team as they trail 44-38 at the half. As they did against New Jersey two weeks ago the Celtics came out flat and suddenly a team with no hope and no directions looks like a world beater.

The Celtics problems have been mostly on offense where they shot just 35 percent and tied a season-low for first-half points. The Wizards have also blocked six shots, which contributed to that low total, with three of them coming from Javale McGee. Undeterred, the Celtics continued to try and take it to the basket against McGee and he continued to throw it back in their face.

Al Thornton has 15 points and eight rebounds, which in and of itself in an indictment on how the C’s played.

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First quarter: Celtics-Wizards

03.07.10 at 8:37 pm ET
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The obvious fear when playing a team like the Washington Wizards at 8 p.m. on a Sunday night is that the Celtics wouldn’t come out with enough energy. That was the story of the first 12 minutes as the C’s, and the crowd, sleepwalked through a 25-19 Wizards lead.

The Celtics dutifully worked the ball inside and got good shots, but they didn’t fall, going 7-for-21 from the floor. With favorable matchups at almost every position, the Celtics couldn’t seem to settle on a plan of attack.

The best idea involved Paul Pierce who had his way with Al Thornton and scored seven points. Washington’s Andray Blatche, who has been a revelation after the Wizards’ housecleaning at the trade deadline, has eight points and five rebounds.

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Allen to play, not 100 percent

03.07.10 at 8:03 pm ET
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Tony Allen will play against the Wizards, although he admits he is not 100 percent after injuring his right hip on Wednesday against the Bobcats. Allen described his rehab as a regimen of “massage, stem, ice, heat, stem, ice, massage.” He has missed a total of 22 games this season due to injuries.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Tony Allen,

Finley: Not going to ‘hurt what they already have’

03.07.10 at 7:18 pm ET
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Looking at the big picture, it’s perfectly clear why Michael Finley is in a Celtics uniform today. After all, familiarity is a powerful thing.

Finley and his new head coach both hail from the Windy City, and it was in Chicago where their bond began in the late 1970s while Finley’s sister and Doc Rivers were at Proviso East High School.

‘€œWell, me and Doc go way back,” Finley explained. “My sister was a cheerleader and he was the star basketball player at the high school games, and I used to sit under the basket and watch him play. That’€™s how far our relationship goes back. He’€™s always been a mentor for me, how to be a professional and how to be a man. He’€™s a role model for me and it goes way back, I’€™ve watched his career as a basketball player and as a coach, and it’s definitely an honor for me to play for him.”

Finley said his familiarity with the organization, from general manager Danny Ainge to coach Doc Rivers and players Paul Pierce and Ray Allen, made Boston a good fit for him. He said he had talks with another “championship” caliber team before deciding on the Celtics.

“I’€™ve talked to Doc and Danny, and coach was very honest with me, which I respect that he doesn’€™t know how he is going to use me,” Finley said. “I have to respect that. I am coming to a situation, where the team is already established. They have put in ‘X’ amount of games, so for me to come in and try to establish a role would be crazy for me to even think that. But coach has put me in a situation at ease, where he doesn’€™t know, I don’€™t know, just when my situation comes just go out there and play hard and do what I can to help the team be a better one. I think that I am able to do that.’€

There’s also another practical matter for Finley, who turned 37 on Saturday, the day he landed ‘€” literally ‘€” in Boston.

“It gave me an opportunity to challenge for a title,” Finley said. “All those things combined with the over history of Boston just drew me here.”

Finley, who suffered what he called a severe ankle injury in December, said he’s ready to play and will wear the No. 40. Rivers held him out of Sunday’s game against the Wizards as he just arrived in Boston Saturday night.

Finley was also honest about his less-than-ideal situation in San Antonio, which precipitated his release last week.

‘€œThis all happened within a week, a week or two span,” Finley admitted. “It was something that started as something little and I think it just erupted. I think both sides, myself and the Spurs organization, there was a mutual split. I have no hard feelings with them, it was just something they were willing to do, and I was man enough to be ready to make that move.

‘€œIt was frustrating because of the situation I was in at San Antonio, but I think all players at my age and that have been in the league as long as I have experience that. Unfortunately for me, I couldn’€™t finish something that I had in San Antonio because the role was something that I really didn’€™t agree with. But here, hopefully the situation will be different, but you never know, it may be the same. But I’€™m happy with my situation now and I’€™m definitely going to make the most of it.’€ Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Celtics, Michael Finley, NBA, Spurs
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