MIAMI -- Ray Allen showed Tuesday night that he indeed has something left, that he can hit pressure 3-pointers and produce in clutch situations. Allen scored 9 points in the Miami Heat's 103-100 overtime win over the San Antonio Spurs and they may have been the most important 9 points of his career.
Allen scored that critical 3-pointer as well as two clinching free throws in overtime as the Heat rallied and took advantage of critical San Antonio mistakes down the stretch.
On the tying 3-pointer with 5.2 seconds left, Allen took a pass from Chris Bosh, stepped back to the 3-point line and fired in one motion. Swish. That was after LeBron James hit a 3-pointer to cut the Spurs lead to 94-92. After Kawhi Leonard made one of two free throws, the Heat, desperate to tie, scrambled and LeBron James clanked a 3-pointer, and Bosh leaped for the rebound, setting up Allen's heroics.
"Well, LeBron took the shot, and I knew we had time, I had to go," Allen said. "I went into the paint to try to get the ball and make something happen. At that point there's no guarantee who is going to get the ball or what may happen. And when I seen CB get the ball, I just backpedaled right to the three point line, and I was hoping I was where I needed to be. But I wasn't quite sure. But just from years of shooting, I got to my spot."
Allen freely admitted it was one of the biggest shots of his career, perhaps the biggest.
"It's going to be a shot that I'm going to remember for a long time," he said. "There's a lot of shots that I've made in my career, but this will go high up in the ranks because of the situation. Just the way that whole last minute and a half unfolded, it wasn't looking good for us. But we've been resilient all year.
"We've been down in situations, we've come back and won games. We never give up. Just being able to be in that situation where the ball bounced in our direction. You know, we've been a part of many plays where the ball has a funky bounce to it. And I've known my whole career sometimes you just get lucky. When you win championships, it involves a little luck. That right there was luck shining on our side."
The Celtics offered Allen more money but James admitted he served a big role in recruiting Allen to Miami. He said reaching this level has been rewarding.
"Well, my focus has been here to help this team win," he said. "When I parted ways with Boston, it was they went in their direction and obviously I went in mine. The minute I got here, this team made me feel welcome, I didn't win last year with this team, but they made me feel a part of it.
"So the redemption has been winning 66 games this year, and having the best record in the NBA, making it to the playoffs and getting to this point, and being with a great group of guys. I have had a great year off the floor with them. As a team we've all bonded. Camaraderie is awesome. We put ourselves in the situation we're in. And good or bad, we're all going to fight to try to make it to the top."