In Saturday’s 97-95 home loss to Boston, Allen was hounded by Brown in the fourth quarter and missed all three of his shots before being uncharacteristically benched by coach George Karl.
In this one, Allen drew a foul from Brown with 8:52 left in the third quarter. Brown argued the call and was hit with a technical foul. Allen made the free throw and seemed to be energized by the incident, making a 20-footer less than a minute later.
“When it gets a little aggressive, they’re testing me,” Allen said. “They’re gonna test me to see what I have, and I can either back down or step up to the challenge. I’ve never known myself to back down from anything playing basketball. So I want to do anything I can to help my team win.”
“It might have fired Ray up, because it seems that he took off from there,” Bucks coach George Karl said.
Allen scored 14 points in the period, helping Milwaukee to an 84-76 lead. The Bucks still held a 97-87 lead with 5:39 remaining before the Celtics rallied behind Paul Pierce, who scored 30 points.
A jumper by Walter McCarty cut the deficit to 98-93 with 3:44 to play, but Allen made a jumper just over a minute later.
After Pierce made a layup, Allen posted up Brown for a fadeaway jumper. With the injured Walker barking in his ear from the Boston bench, Allen nailed the shot, then said something back to Walker, who smiled to mask his displeasure.
“Well, he yelled out that I didn’t have any post game,” Allen said. “And then I made it and then I turned around and said, ‘How ‘bout that?’ And then he just had this look of disappointment on his face.”
“Even (Bucks guard) Sam Cassell said to me, ‘Man, even when he’s not playing, he talks,’” Pierce said.
Cassell had his second career triple-double with 14 points, 16 assists and 11 rebounds for the Bucks, who shot 53 percent (40-of-75) from the field. Allen made 13-of-23 shots, including 5-of-9 from the arc, and added nine rebounds and seven assists.
“This team is going as far as Ray Allen and I take it, no matter who has some say-so in this (bleeping) organization,” Cassell said. “If Ray’s not playing well and I’m not playing well, we’re not going to win. It’s that simple.”
McCarty and J.R. Bremer tried to pick up the slack for Walker, who has a sprained knee. McCarty scored a season-high 22 points and Bremer added 18 as each made five 3-pointers.
“I’m not happy that we lost, but I saw a lot of positives out there,” said Pierce, who made 10-of-24 shots. “At first I was a little concerned about how we were going to react without Antoine. But I really saw a lot of positive things that we’re going to be good until he comes back.”
Boston shot just 42 percent (33-of-78), including 12-of-32 from the arc.
“Tonight’s game reminded me of an ABA game - a lot of perimeter shooting, making a lot of shots early,” Karl said.
The Celtics never led in the second half but were within 70-69 after a 3-pointer by Tony Delk with 4:49 left in the third quarter. Anthony Mason converted a three-point play before Allen had a fast-break dunk and consecutive 3-pointers, pushing the lead to 81-71.
In the fourth quarter, Pierce took six straight shots for Boston, making five before McCarty’s jumper made it a five-point game. But the Celtics got no closer.
Allen scored 11 points in the first quarter to help build a 33-26 lead, but McCarty countered with 11 in the second period as the Celtics closed to 56-54 at halftime.
“They were looking for me for shots,” McCarty said. “We played a good team game, and I was fortunate to get some open looks.”