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Ray Allen passes Reggie Miller for 3-point record

BOSTON – Ray Allen broke the NBA record for 3-pointers on Thursday night, sinking two in the first quarter against the Los Angeles Lakers as the man he passed, Reggie Miller, sat courtside working the TV broadcast.

Allen hit his second 3 of the game with 1:48 left in the first quarter to reach 2,561 in his career — a number that flashed on the scoreboard in green and white while the TD Garden erupted in applause.

The 38-year-old Celtic celebrated little as he got back on defense, but at the next whistle went over to Miller for a hug and a handshake, then bumped fists with Lakers star Kobe Bryant.

“I’m just so happy for him because this is one of the best guys,” Miller said on the TNT broadcast. “He’s so humble, he’s so giving, he’s a great family man and I’m excited. This is great. This is great for the game of basketball. You know why? We’re focusing and talking about shooting.”

The record-breaker came on a transition basket from the right side on a pass from Rajon Rondo. The sold-out crowd at the TD Garden — the visit by the rival Lakers would have been enough for that — cheered, and his teammates rose out of their seats.

After the quarter ended, Allen exchanged a few words and another hug with Miller, then went down the sideline to receive his family’s congratulations.

“It’s so serendipitous that it happened the way it happened. For us to be sitting here, Reggie’s in the building and he’s in the building able to work the game,” Allen said before the game. “He just told me he was proud of me and he was excited for me. He said he was glad that he could be here in this moment.”

Miller has been cheering Allen on as he pursed the record, and the former Indiana Pacers star said people shouldn’t be surprised.

“All records are made to be broken,” Miller said. “I had a conversation with Ray earlier tonight and he was like, ‘When I was a rookie and I came to Market Square Arena and I saw you for 3 to 3 1/2 hours before (the game) shooting, that’s how I wanted to patent my game.'”

A 6-foot-5 guard from Connecticut, Allen is the No. 25 scorer in NBA history, entering the night with 21,855 points in a 15 year career with Milwaukee, Seattle and Boston. He is already the NBA’s all-time leader in 3-pointers made per game since the shot was introduced to the league in 1979, with an average of 2.4.

“He’s just a machine,” Celtics coach Doc Rivers said before the game. “He shoots every day. He works on it. He runs every day. You look at his body. If you’re a young player just look at Ray Allen if you want a long career. He’s the ultimate pro.”

Allen got to the record a little faster than Miller, needing 6,430 shots to reach the record — a percentage of 39.8. Miller took 6,486 shots from 3-point range in his 18-year career with the Indiana Pacers, making 39.5 percent.

Allen said beforehand he had unexpected trouble sleeping on Wednesday night, with the combined anticipation of an NBA finals rematch against the archrival Lakers and the chance to break the record.

“I was like a little kid,” he said. “Just the game itself is big enough and being on the precipice of breaking this record takes you to another level. … Being here in this moment and being able to say this moment is before us, it seems pretty overwhelming.”

Allen entered the season needing 117 to pass Miller, and he entered the night needing one to tie and two for the record. With the crowd cheering in anticipation every time he got the ball beyond the arc, he missed his first attempt and then made his second, from the top of the key.

Allen gave a fist pump while teammate Nate Robinson raised one finger in the air. The next time down, Paul Pierce passed him the ball on the left side and Allen fired up another shot that, to the crowd’s dismay, went off the rim. He missed the next try, too, but then got the record on his fifth 3-point attempt of the game.

“I think it’s a remarkable thing he’s achieving tonight,” Lakers coach Phil Jackson said before the game. “It is something to watch for and I hope he gets rid of it right away.”

During the second quarter, the Celtics showed a video with him making 3-pointers through his career — first with the Milwaukee Bucks and then with the Seattle SuperSonics. The number “2,561” was repeated in green and white on the message board that ringed the scoreboard and on the one that circled the arena.

Continue reading here: Ray Allen passes Reggie Miller for 3-point record

Canzano: Jerry Sloan’s departure sends a message the NBA needs to hear

Published: Thursday, February 10, 2011, 6:57 PM     Updated: Thursday, February 10, 2011, 7:50 PM

Jerry Sloan resigned on Thursday. The longest-tenured coach in professional sports threw in the keys after 23 years with the Utah Jazz. He’s going home to his farm and will spend more time with his tractor.

And why not?

I doubt the thing will whine at him about playing time. Or complain about his old-school philosophy. It won’t second-guess about playing rotations. Or threaten to leave him for a bigger market or better contract.

Lockout next season?

Nope.

On Thursday, Sloan beat them to the punch. He locked out the NBA.

Said Sloan: “My time is up, and it’s time for me to move on.”

The Jazz felt stale. Sloan says he’s lost a little energy. But it wasn’t lost here that Sloan is looking around the league at some of the hard-nosed players he developed and watched walk away — Carlos Boozer, Wesley Matthews and Ronnie Brewer, among them – and wondering where all this is headed.

Sloan probably could have overcome a rocky relationship with his star point guard, Deron Williams. He’s been through worse in two-plus decades. The coach also could have seized back his team, which revolted against his old-school ways. And Sloan could have grinded out this season and probably made the playoffs for the 20th time in his career.

But why bother anymore?

Swollen egos. Brats unleashed. A broken-down business model. Too many questions about his playing rotations. And too much small-market heavy lifting.

Sloan was tearful on Thursday. But everything that is wrong with the NBA was left naked — in the open — when Sloan made his announcement. The game is broken. The players make the rules. And, however long the NBA continues in its current form, it’s clear we won’t ever see another coach like Sloan.

That’s the rub here, isn’t it? That when a guy with the credibility of Sloan decides he doesn’t fit anymore, that he’s had enough, the NBA should stop and take a look at itself.

Maybe you heard the news and thought, Sloan must have health problems.

Maybe you thought, family issues.

Sloan put all that to rest on Thursday. None of the above. He said that he figured that this was the right time. And given the chance to throw Williams under the team bus as the guy who pushed a legend into retirement, Sloan waved it off. He said he’s always dealt with player difficulties, and that any current issues were only “a minor” part of his decision.

To the very end, Sloan had dignity and class. Those are words that are typed and said too infrequently in an NBA arena.

Thugs aren’t the NBA’s problem. Heavens no. That’s a tired and inaccurate argument. Pay attention: This is a league of babies, and the head coaches are the primary sitters.

Sloan has coached 1,809 games in Utah, and has won a blistering 98 playoff games. But his role as a coach has become less inspired teacher and more child psychologist in the last decade. More than it’s worth, it seems.

That tractor must have looked like a cushioned lounge chair by late Wednesday.

Reports that Sloan would retire surfaced after the Jazz lost Wednesday to the Chicago Bulls. Sloan, who is always quick to address the media, didn’t appear for nearly 30 minutes. He was in a closed-door meeting with Jazz management.

They were trying to talk the coach into sticking around. And that discussion carried into Thursday, when those inside the organization held out hope that he’d reverse his decision.

But Sloan didn’t.

Assistant Tyrone Corbin was named interim coach by the Jazz. And those present will tell you that the moment that Corbin was named was the only time they saw Sloan smile.

I’ll bet.

– John Canzano
Follow him on Twitter

Continue reading here: Canzano: Jerry Sloan’s departure sends a message the NBA needs to hear

Ray Allen becomes NBA’s three-point king

Ray Allen broke the NBA record for 3-pointers on Thursday night, sinking two in the first quarter against the Los Angeles Lakers as the man he passed, Reggie Miller, sat courtside working the TV broadcast.

Allen hit his second 3 of the game with 1:48 left in the first quarter to reach 2,561 in his career — a number that flashed on the scoreboard in green and white while the TD Garden erupted in applause.

The 38-year-old Celtic celebrated little as he got back on defense, but at the next whistle went over to Miller for a hug and a handshake, then bumped fists with Lakers star Kobe Bryant.

“I’m just so happy for him because this is one of the best guys,” Miller said on the TNT broadcast. “He’s so humble, he’s so giving, he’s a great family man and I’m excited. This is great. This is great for the game of basketball. You know why? We’re focusing and talking about shooting.”

The record-breaker came on a transition basket from the right side on a pass from Rajon Rondo. The sold-out crowd at the TD Garden — the visit by the rival Lakers would have been enough for that — cheered, and his teammates rose out of their seats.

After the quarter ended, Allen exchanged a few words and another hug with Miller, then went down the sideline to receive his family’s congratulations. Allen made one more in the game to finish two ahead Miller, but the Boston Celtics lost the NBA finals rematch 92-86.

“It’s so serendipitous that it happened the way it happened. For us to be sitting here, Reggie’s in the building and he’s in the building able to work the game,” Allen said before the game. “He just told me he was proud of me and he was excited for me. He said he was glad that he could be here in this moment.”

Miller has been cheering Allen on as he pursed the record, and the former Indiana Pacers star said people shouldn’t be surprised.

“All records are made to be broken,” Miller said. “I had a conversation with Ray earlier tonight and he was like, ‘When I was a rookie and I came to Market Square Arena and I saw you for 3 to 3 1/2 hours before (the game) shooting, that’s how I wanted to patent my game.“’

A 6-foot-5 guard from Connecticut, Allen is the No. 25 scorer in NBA history, finishing the night with 21,875 points in a 15-year career with Milwaukee, Seattle and Boston. He is already the NBA’s all-time leader in 3-pointers made per game since the shot was introduced to the league in 1979, with an average of 2.4.

“He’s just a machine,” Celtics coach Doc Rivers said before the game. “He shoots every day. He works on it. He runs every day. You look at his body. If you’re a young player just look at Ray Allen if you want a long career. He’s the ultimate pro.”

Allen got to the record a little faster than Miller, needing 6,430 shots to reach the record — a percentage of 39.8. Miller took 6,486 shots from 3-point range in his 18-year career with the Indiana Pacers, making 39.5 percent.

Allen said beforehand he had unexpected trouble sleeping on Wednesday night, with the combined anticipation of an NBA finals rematch against the archrival Lakers and the chance to break the record.

“I was like a little kid,” he said. “Just the game itself is big enough and being on the precipice of breaking this record takes you to another level. … Being here in this moment and being able to say this moment is before us, it seems pretty overwhelming.”

Allen entered the season needing 117 to pass Miller, and he entered the night needing one to tie and two for the record. With the crowd cheering in anticipation every time he got the ball beyond the arc, he missed his first attempt and then made his second, from the top of the key.

Allen gave a fist pump while teammate Nate Robinson raised one finger in the air. The next time down, Paul Pierce passed him the ball on the left side and Allen fired up another shot that, to the crowd’s dismay, went off the rim. He missed the next try, too, but then got the record on his fifth 3-point attempt of the game.

“I think it’s a remarkable thing he’s achieving tonight,” Lakers coach Phil Jackson said before the game. “It is something to watch for and I hope he gets rid of it right away.”

During the second quarter, the Celtics showed a video with him making 3-pointers through his career — first with the Milwaukee Bucks and then with the Seattle SuperSonics. The number “2,561” was repeated in green and white on the message board that ringed the scoreboard and on the one that circled the arena.

Continue reading here: Ray Allen becomes NBA’s three-point king

Allen can rest easier — but won’t quit working — now that he owns record

BOSTON — Not surprisingly, Celtics guard Ray Allen had a difficult time keeping his eyes closed Wednesday night. He has played 1,073 games in his career, but the confluence of events surrounding Thursday’s game at the TD Garden — playing the defending champion Lakers, and just two 3-pointers away from breaking Reggie Miller’s record with Miller in the building — proved to be too much.

“I didn’t sleep extremely well last night, and I didn’t expect to,” Allen said before the game. “Last night, I was like a little kid. The game itself is big enough, but being on the precipice of breaking this record, kind of takes it to another level.”

Allen can rest easier -- but won't quit working -- now that he owns record
Ray Allen is the NBA’s new career 3-point leader, passing Reggie Miller. Sean Deveney says Allen’s work ethic helped get him to No. 1. | C’s lose to Lakers

At 1:47 of the first quarter Thursday, Allen knocked down his second 3-pointer of the night — his fifth attempt — on a fast break, giving him 2,561 in his career and pushing him ahead of Miller into first place on the all-time list. At the next break, Allen broke out in a wide smile before he and Miller, broadcasting the game for TNT, embraced.

“I told him, ‘I’m glad you’re here, because it is your moment as well,'” Allen said after the game, a 92-86 Celtics loss. “When we came in the league, Allen Iverson, myself, all the guys in my class that came in … Reggie was the shooting guard who we were out there competing against and trying to beat. It was a privilege to play alongside and play against him. To do this, and beat his record, and have him in the building — I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

By conventional wisdom, there’s no way Allen should still be playing the way he is. He’s 35 and players who are 35 should be winding down their careers, acting the part of the veteran leader and considering careers in coaching or broadcasting or real estate. But Allen remains one of the most driven athletes in the game, and he’s not quite handling the twilight of his career by the book. And now, he’s got the record to prove it.

Allen, of course, possesses one of the smoothest shooting strokes in the league. But he knows that, as much as talent, the key for him at this stage of his career has been his ability to keep his body in peak form. “Longevity is definitely key,” Allen said. “If you look around the league, in order to do things and be good in this league, it’s all about having longevity. We judge players by what they’ve done consistently over a long period. That’s what it’s all about.”

That Allen is having his finest season as a shooter at this stage of career is indicative of the amount of work that he puts in daily. Allen is one of the most diligently prepared players in the league. As Celtics coach Doc Rivers said, “I get tired just thinking about some of his workouts.”

Allen points out that one reason he has been able to extend his career is the trade that sent him from Seattle to the Celtics on draft night in 2007. He averaged 40.3 minutes in his final season with the Sonics; he has been able to cut that to fewer than 36 minutes per game in Boston. And the Celtics have boosted him because he is able to play with other frontline scoring options, namely Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce.

Throw in the fact that he has one of the best passers in the league (Rajon Rondo) at point guard and one of the best screen-setters (Kendrick Perkins) at center, and it’s clear that, had Allen not been traded to the Celtics, he might still be chasing Miller.

But, though he tips his cap to the team, this is ultimately Allen’s record, one he earned with the hundreds of shots he hoists and the hours of conditioning he puts in.

“He’s unbelievable,” Orlando coach Stan Van Gundy said. “I think the truly remarkable thing about Ray Allen is, and I think that the lesson for — I am not talking young kids, I am talking about players in our league — the work that Ray Allen has done over his career, to keep himself in shape and be able to maintain the level of play that he has been able to maintain at his age, this is an age that a lot of the wing guys, especially shooters, tend to drop off because they lose their legs. But that guy has worked and worked and worked and worked.”

His reward for all that work is longevity, and the reward for that longevity now is a spot in the record books.

— The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Continue reading here: Allen can rest easier — but won’t quit working — now that he owns record