Allen heats up in 4th to lead Celtics over Wizards
BOSTON (AP) It was vintage Ray Allen. The ball swings from one side of the floor to the other and the NBA's all-time 3-point king comes around a pick or two before stepping up and nailing a jumper.
Allen went 3 for 3 from long range in the final quarter, scoring 11 of his 27 points in the fourth, and the Boston Celtics won for the second straight night over Washington, beating the winless Wizards 100-92 on Monday night.
"Ray made the big shots for us tonight," point guard Rajon Rondo said. "It was a team effort, but when we needed a bucket the ball seemed to find Ray."
The 36-year old Allen, the oldest player on the floor who prides himself on conditioning, looked like the one with the freshest legs when the game was on the line.
"Yeah, Marathon Man," joked Boston coach Doc Rivers. "He was great. He just kept going. I would never want to guard that guy. You can't imagine how many miles Nick Young had to go chasing him."
Rondo downplayed the amount of energy Allen showed.
"Ray runs every day," he said. "He'll probably run tomorrow. It's not a shock when he does what he did."
Paul Pierce had 21 points and eight rebounds for the Celtics (3-3), who pulled to .500 after losing their first three games of the season. Rookie Greg Stiemsma, making his first start, had 13 points and seven rebounds, and reserve Brandon Bass scored 12.
But it was Allen that carried the veteran Celtics during the game's key minutes.
"You look at the shots during that stretch; every time somebody made the tough extra pass," Allen said, crediting his teammates. "It's tough to guard that second and third pass."
Andray Blatche led Wizards (0-5) with 28 points and nine rebounds, JaVale McGee had 17 points and 14 boards, and John Wall had 11 points. Head coach Flip Saunders didn't see much of the game from the bench after he was ejected 1:46 into the contest.
Allen was 6 for 7 from beyond the 3-point line.
Boston beat the Wizards 94-86 in Washington on Sunday.
Allen's fourth 3-pointer of the game, coming with 8:56 to play, pushed Boston ahead for good, 75-74. Bass then hit a foul-line jumper and, after a basket by the Wizards' Nick Young, Rajon Rondo found Marquis Daniels cutting backdoor for a layup. He was fouled on the play and made the free throw, increasing it to 80-76.
Bass then nailed another jumper - this one from the right corner - and Rondo had a breakaway layup, increasing Boston's lead to 84-76 with 6:21 to play.
The Wizards made one last run, closing it to 84-80 on Blatche's three-point play, but Allen hit a jumper on the left wing and followed it 43 seconds later with a 3 from the right wing.
"This game boiled down to coming down the stretch, winning time, you've got to make the right plays in the last two minutes every time or you don't have a chance, especially against a veteran team like this," said Wizards assistant coach Randy Wittman, who took over after Saunders was tossed.
Allen's third 3-pointer of the final quarter made it 95-87 with 1:30 to play.
Saunders was upset after Stiemsma blocked Rashard Lewis' shot and knocked him to the floor as play continued. He got up off the bench and screamed at the officials to earn the first technical, then walked to midcourt still protesting to earn the second and an automatic ejection.
"It was quick," Wall said. "I heard everybody complaining about the call Rashard got and then all of a sudden it was two technicals and he was gone."
Washington led 70-69 after three quarters.
Neither team held more than an eight-point lead in the first half, and it changed eight times before the Wizards took a 48-47 advantage into halftime.
Notes: Boston coach Doc Rivers said he likes facing a team twice in a row. "I wish our league did it more. I've always said that," he said before the game. "I think it builds competition." ... Wizards G Wall was whistled for a technical 4 minutes after Saunders. ... Boston C/F Chris Wilcox returned after missing the previous three games with a bruised left shoulder. ... Celtics center Jermaine O'Neal was out with a tight left hamstring, but said after the game he plans on playing Wednesday against New Jersey. "I'll be ready to go," he said.
Updated January 3, 2012