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Ray Allen proves to Doc Rivers that he’s the ‘ultimate gunslinger’

05.27.12 at 2:49 am ET
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After starting Game 7 by missing eight of his first nine shots, including 0-for-5 from 3-point range, Ray Allen picked a great time to get hot.

He hit a three with 9:51 left that sent the Garden into pandemonium and gave the Celtics a 60-54 lead over the Sixers. The Celtics missed their first 14 3-pointers before Allen connected from beyond the arc. As the Sixers drew to within three again, Bass hit two free throws and Allen drained another three with 5:52 left to extend the lead to eight, 69-61. Again pandemonium and again, all Doc Rivers could do was sit back and appreciate Allen’s resiliency.

‘€œWell Ray is the ultimate gun slinger,” Rivers said. “I mean, really. That’€™s what makes great players great. You know, I was a basketball player one day. And I would’€™ve never taken that shot late in the game like Ray, after missing my first 15. First of all, I wouldn’€™t have been in. But you know what I mean; a lot of guys ‘€“ you’€™ve got to have a set to do that, you really do. It was just impressive.”

What really made this impressive was how much pain Allen was fighting in his right ankle.

‘You know I took him out that one stretch, and remember he had back-to-back plays where he was wide-open and passed up the shot,” Rivers said. “And when we took him out I went over to him and said, ‘€˜Hey, listen, we’€™re not going to have that.’€™ And he just said, ‘€˜My foot’€™s killing me. I need a break. I’€™m good.’€™ And I told him again, I said, ‘€˜Ray, listen, you don’€™t ever pass up shots.’€™ The biggest part was Rondo went over there and told him the same thing, which I thought was great for Ray to hear, confidence-wise. And then Kevin went over and told him. I thought that was big for him to hear.

“I was worried about him because I know him now and I saw the last four, five minutes if you watch him he was starting to shake his foot, which has been a sign that time to get him out. But you know, I told him that; I said, ‘€˜Hey are you alright?’€™ He said, ‘€˜I’€™m alright after we win this game. He just said it, ‘€˜Leave me in; I’€™m good. So that was good.’€

Read More: 2012 Playoffs, Boston Celtics, Doc Rivers, NBA playoffs
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