On the cusp of breaking Reggie Miller's record for career 3-pointers, even the extremely routinized Ray Allen couldn't avoid being thrown off by the hype around the moment.
"I didn't sleep extremely well last night, and I didn't expect it," said Allen "I got into trying to talk about shoes, just dealing with everything that was going on today and making sure that everything was together. I didn't sleep extremely well, but during the day I slept well. But, last night, it's just like a little kid. The game itself is big enough. Being on the precipice of breaking this record takes you to another level. I saw Reggie earlier and it's like so surreal because I know Reggie and he's been here many games, but now, being here, in this moment, and being able to say this moment is before us, it seems pretty overwhelming."
Miller, at the Garden to call the game for TNT, offered nothing but kind words towards Allen.
"He just told me he was proud of me and he was excited for me," said Allen. "He said he was glad that he could be here for this moment and it's just 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 he distributed about 22 tickets to family and friends, including some last-minute additions.
"My extended family that lives in Connecticut, my family, my kids, my mom is here, obviously," said Allen. "And I've had some friends that dropped by my doorstep last night and this morning, so, it's always great to feel supported. A lot of people wanted to come in and just be a part of it, wanted to see and say that they were in the building."
--PIERCE FEELING BETTER AFTER SITTING OUT WEDNESDAY'S PRACTICE--
Celtics coach Doc Rivers said captain Paul Pierce is feeling better after sitting out Wednesday's practice due to illness, but wasn't sure what he would get out of him Thursday.
"He's feeling better than yesterday, so that’s good," said Rivers. "We’ll see. He’s playing. But we’ll see how many minutes he can go."
It's unlikely some sniffles are enough to keep Pierce from logging as much action as possible against his hometown rival. The fact that Boston doesn't have a backup swingman with Marquis Daniels sidelined indefinitely means the Celtics need him as much as possible.
Rivers stressed that it's always fun to play the Lakers, but reiterated that it's just another of the 82 regular-season games.
"I don’t know if you'll be able to tell anything," Rivers said of Thursday's game. "It'll tell you that one team is closer to getting home court [in the postseason] or something like that. No, it’s just tough in regular season. You're on a road trip -- they have four [games] in five [nights] coming up and we have a bunch of injuries. The bottom line is I just celebrate the individual game with these two teams. We enjoy playing each other -- we like playing them, they like playing us. Let’s just hope, in that way, we get something out of the game. I think regular-season games have very little significance in the playoffs."
As for a key to Thursday's game, Rivers said it came down to rebounding and running.
"We need to run," he said. "We have to rebound. You go back, all the way to Game 1 of the Finals, the team that won the rebound [battle], won the game. It happened [in the first regular-season meeting] for us. It’s even more important to run because of the way they want to defend [point guard Rajon] Rondo. If we can get into transition, it's tough to get the match-up they want. They cross-match, so running for us, is very very important."
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