MIAMI - Not all of the former Celtics are struggling to make a positive impact in this series. Ray Allen is making his presence felt for Miami and causing fits for the Nets.
Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce appear to be aging before our very eyes. But Allen seems to be running around with fresh legs and endless energy -- and stroking the ball the way he always has.
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The Nets gave the Heat all it could handle for most of the night in Game 2. But for the second consecutive game, they couldn't handle Allen. Showing the clutch gene he's known for, he helped the Heat to a 94-82 victory and a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference semifinal series.
"Ray was playing with a great motor," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "We were probably getting our best actions with him running around. He's a veteran guy who has been in these moments and he had a sense for what we needed."
Allen scored 13 points -- all in the second half -- grabbed eight rebounds and had a fourth-quarter steal.
He had 10 points in the third quarter as the Heat, which trailed by seven in the first half, tried to establish itself, and made some key plays in the fourth with the game on the line.
"I just know what I'm capable of doing, and what I do," Allen said. "You have to read the situations. You have to be patient enough to let the game develop. For me, just try to move around defensively, and on the offensive end, I try not to stand around."
That's what Allen, 38, has done his whole career.
After a slow start to these playoffs, he scored 19 points Tuesday night. His 32 points in the series are seven more than Pierce and Garnett combined. Garnett had four points Thursday night after going scoreless in Game 1.
LeBron James, who led Miami with 22 points, said it appears as though Allen's legs are fresher than they've been all season.
"It does," James said. "For some odd reason, it does. One thing we can't take for granted is Ray's ability to attract defense."
Allen continues to say there's no extra motivation in playing against Pierce and Garnett. He said he's just focused on the situation and trying to win his third NBA title.
With the Heat up five in the fourth quarter, Allen hit a three-pointer to make it 85-77 with 5:10 left. He shot 3-for-5 from deep and is 7-for-12 in the series on three-pointers.
Later in the quarter, James missed a three-pointer and Allen got the offensive rebound. It was the first of three offensive boards for Miami on the possession. James ended the deflating trip for the Nets with a layup that gave the Heat an 89-79 edge with 1:59 left.
"It was pure hustle on everybody's part," Allen said. "We just crashed down and the ball was going all over the place. For the most part, our energy, we had great motor where nobody was standing around, bodies were moving and we were moving their defense."