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Ray Allen named All-Star replacement

Posted by Marc J. Spears, Globe Staff  February 5, 2009 04:26 PM

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Ray Allen has played like an All-Star all season for the 41-9 Celtics. Today, he officially became one for the ninth time in his NBA career.

The NBA announced this afternoon that Allen will replace injured Orlando Magic guard Jameer Nelson on the Eastern Conference All-Star team for the Feb. 15 game in Phoenix.

Allen will join teammates Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce on the East squad for the second straight season. Garnett was voted in by fans, while coaches selected Pierce as a reserve.

The Celtics were disappointed when the 33-year-old Allen was not selected when rosters were announced Jan. 30.

"It's not about numbers," team president Danny Ainge said after learning of Allen's exclusion. "It wasn't about Orlando getting three [Dwight Howard, Nelson, Rashard Lewis] and us getting two. Cleveland has the best record and only gets one. Ray Allen is one of the most efficient players in the East and only LeBron James has a better plus-minus. He's been our most consistent player."

But Allen, who is averaging 18.1 points per game on 49.7 percent shooting, got a second chance when the Magic's Nelson was sidelined by a potentially season-ending shoulder injury earlier this week. And his case to be the injury replacement certainly was not hindered by his performance against the Sixers Tuesday night, when he hit a winning 3-pointer with 0.5 seconds remaining on the clock to give the Celtics a 100-99 victory.

It's worth noting that Allen was also an injury replacement last year, replacing the Wizards' Caron Butler on the roster. He was one of the stars of the game, scoring 28 points and nailing five 3-pointers off the bench in the East's win.

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