Down three points with less than six seconds on the clock, Ray Allen received a pass in the corner from Chris Bosh with barely enough room to catch it let alone make sure he was behind the three-point line. The most prolific three-point shooter in NBA history made the game-tying shot that ultimately forced overtime. He later made two free throws late in overtime to give the Heat a three point lead that would be enough to win the game. All of Allen’s nine points came in the fourth quarter and overtime.
Ray Allen signed with Miami in the offseason with hopes of getting another crack at an NBA title; he took the opportunities given to him on Tuesday night and the old man was once again a quiet star. Game seven will be Thursday night in Miami
The former University of Connecticut star and movie star (Jesus Shuttlesworth in Spike Lee’s “He Got Game” co-starring Denzel Washington) came into the league in a draft class that included first overall pick Allen Iverson, along with Kobe Bryant, Stephon Marbury and Steve Nash to name a few.
He was quickly overshadowed by fellow rookies but respected league-wide for his pre-game preparation and professionalism. His time in Milwaukee and Seattle, both basketball crazy cities but small markets, didn’t help his star power. Neither did his lack of drama on and off the court.
Ray Allen simply went out and did his job night after night for teams that were decent (Milwaukee with Glenn Robinson and Sam Cassell) and sometimes not so decent (Seattle with a very young Rashard Lewis) before being traded to Boston and teaming up with Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce. That team won a championship in their first year together but Allen still was considered the third fiddle. Garnett was the team’s emotional leader, Pierce was its big shot taker. Allen was just Ray Allen: solid.
Lebron James had 32 points, 11 assist and 10 rebounds for his eleventh post season triple double. Despite another phenomenal performance by the four-time league MVP, some of the biggest defensive stops late in overtime were made by Allen on drives by Spurs players.
When the game was on the line Ray Allen stepped up and made plays like he has his entire career. Heat guard Dwayne Wade spent most of the final quarter in and out of the lineup, Chris Bosh could not buy a basket, but the Heat never gave up despite being down by as many as eight points late in the game. Mario Chalmers finished with 20 points, Bosh had 10 points and a very important 11 rebounds and even Wade contributed 14 points.
Mr. Dependable, Ray Allen, was only three of eight from the floor for the game, but when it counted most he was there, just doing his job. He’s got more than game, he’s got a game seven.