WALTHAM - When Ray Allen woke up yesterday morning, the sting of Wednesday's last-second loss to the Pistons had subsided, and thoughts turned to the next game.
The Celtics (20-3) still own the NBA's best record, are 12-1 at home, and have won nine of their last 10. They host the Bulls tonight at TD Banknorth Garden.
"When I went to sleep I think it hurt more just sitting up thinking about all the different things you could have done to have a different outcome," said Allen after yesterday's practice. "For me, it was from the context of the whole game, not just the last couple of seconds. But then once I woke up, it was a new day. It was the same as if we had won. You wake up and prepare to move forward. That was it for me. I try to come in and do what I normally would have done otherwise."
Said coach Doc Rivers: "It's not like someone died. We lost a game. We're not going to overreact to one loss. If we lose five in a row, then we are going to start overreacting."
One Celtic still taking the loss hard, however, was James Posey.
"I just hate losing, just everything that was built up for that game," he said. "I know it's a long season but we should have won that game. It just slid away from us. We can learn from it but it's still tough to swallow for me at the end of the day."
Respect for 'Zo
Posey was saddened to hear about former teammate Alonzo Mourning, whose career may be over after he tore the patellar tendon in his right knee in Miami's loss to Atlanta Wednesday. The 15-year veteran, who said he plans to retire after the season, is a seven-time All-Star and two-time defensive player of the year.
"Sad, man. Good dude. Works hard. I got the opportunity to play with him a lot," Posey said. "He's sort of what is missing from a lot of players in this game. Just his commitment to hard work. He always went 110 percent in everything he did and left everything on the floor in the game, in practice, in the weight room."
No ill effects
Allen scored 24 points against the Pistons in his first game after missing two with a sore right ankle. When asked how the ankle felt yesterday, he said, "I have no gripes." . . . Rivers said the Celtics would not practice Monday and Tuesday before flying to Sacramento Tuesday night. Rivers will spend Christmas with his wife and children in Orlando, Fla., and will meet the team in California . . . Rivers lightened the mood at practice by letting players diagram, then run plays. "Some of the guys did a really nice job, some of the guys I know not to give the pen to," Rivers said. "But it was fun. The best play to me was Gabe Pruitt's. I thought he drew up a really nice play that he said always got him open."