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Post  anylove on Tue Jan 03, 2012 3:34 am

The grinding at TD Garden could be heard throughout the region last night. The Celtics were a step slow, turnover prone, and heavy legged after polishing off the Washington Wizards Sunday night in the nation’s capital. Their aging bodies were in for a taxing evening in a rematch with the young pups.

Unlike many occasions last season, when the Celtics dropped ragged Cheap NFL Jersesys decisions in the second games of back-to-backs, they managed enough strength and execution to stave off Washington’s persistent rallies and the catalyst was their oldest player, 36-year-old Ray Allen.

His play this season has been a shining example of his tireless and sometimes obsessive work ethic. Running the streets of his neighborhood on off days, sprinting full speed and stopping inches from the 3-point line and then launching hundreds of shots. Personal two-a-days following practice.

Games are the just reward for those reclusive offseason days. When the Celtics sorely needed a lift, Allen scored 11 of his 27 points in the final period. His 3-pointer with 1:30 left gave the Celtics an 8-point lead and they held on for a 100-92 win.

The Celtics have won three straight after dropping their first three and are tied for first in the Atlantic Division, a testament to this bizarre, lockout-shortened season. But one thing that can be counted on is Allen’s immaculate conditioning and his 3-point shooting.

Allen was 6 of 7 from deep last night, raising his season percentage from .552 to .611. He leads the Celtics in scoring at 20 points per contest.

After the game, Allen stunned the media when he revealed he had been battling a cold all day.

“The minute I sat down in the locker room afterwards my nose started running and I started coughing again,’’ he said. “Any time you have any small issue, you always focus a lot more. It’s like that little bit of playing around you do, you cut that out and you focus more.’’

Allen spent the fourth quarter saving the Celtics from a cheap jerseys potential embarrassing loss. He canned a 3-pointer for a 75-74 lead with 8:56 left. He had a leaning 17-footer for a 6-point lead with 5:13 left, and then came back with another 3-pointer 43 seconds later.

The game Wizards kept chipping away, refusing to relent. Andray Blatche, who allowed Kevin Garnett to annoy him with mind games Sunday, drained three free throws to reduce the deficit to 92-87 with 2:06 left. After a Celtics turnover, Paul Pierce stepped in front of a lazy John Wall crosscourt pass, pushed the ball, and found Allen again on the right side for the clinching 3-ball.
“Marathon man. He was great. He just kept going. I would never want to guard that guy,’’ Celtics coach Doc Rivers said of Allen. “He just never stops moving. I can’t imagine the miles Nick Young had to [cover] because he had to chase him all game. But he made some big shots.’’


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