for this game

Allen nails game-winning 3-pointer to lift Celtics over Bobcats

Nov 25, 2007 - 5:14 AM CHARLOTTE, North Carolina (Ticker) -- The Boston Celtics are enjoying the "luck of the Irish."

Ray Allen buried a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give the Celtics a 96-95 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats on Saturday night.

"It was good be be lucky because we were not good tonight," Boston coach Doc Rivers said.

Allen's game-winning shot was set up by Charlotte's costly turnover with 4.7 seconds left in the game. An inbounds pass by Jason Richardson was tipped by Boston guard Eddie House into the hands of Paul Pierce, who found Allen from the arc.

"We had them the whole game," Richardson said. "It was a stupid turnover on my behalf. I lost this game for my teammates."

It was the second game-winning 3-pointer of the season for Allen, who beat the Toronto Raptors in overtime on November 4.

"At the minute (House) touched the ball, it was almost like everything went into slow motion," Allen said. "It was like the whole play was in slow motion. I saw Paul jump up and catch it. Then the ball just come in the air to me and the rest is history."

The deadliest shooter of the Celtics' vaunted "Big Three," Allen had been struggling with his shot against the Bobcats, converting just 3-of-14 attempts from the field and 0-of-5 from the arc before nailing the buzzer-beater.

"Even though I had an off night, I never lost my confidence," Allen said. "It was somewhat frustrating, but I have Paul and Kevin (Garnett). I just want to make sure I'm ready to take the big shots when called upon."

Pierce and Garnett each scored 23 points and combined for 15 in the fourth quarter for Boston, which pushed its winning streak to three games. The Celtics have won 11 of 12 to begin the campaign.

"We believe in one another," Pierce said. "I could have grabbed the ball and taken a shot, but I belive in Ray. No matter what type of night he is having, I believe in him. That's the type of team we have."

Matt Carroll put the Bobcats in the front at the 10:35 mark in the final quarter with a 3-pointer. They then built a five-point cushion, 85-80, on another 3-pointer from Richardson.

But Boston stormed back when James Posey capped an 8-2 burst with a 3-pointer with 7:07 remaining in the final quarter to regain the lead, 88-87.

Jeff McInnis put the Bobcats back in the lead at 94-93 with his second basket of the game and Raymond Felton split a pair of free throws to push the lead to 95-93 with 2:06 to play. But Charlotte was unable to score the rest of the game.

The Bobcats had every opportunity to pull out the victory, but had three costly turnovers. First an eight-second backcourt violation with 1:33 to play and then a shot-clock violation with just 17 seconds left before the final turnover by Richardson.

"It's a game we should have won," Felton said. "This is our house and these are our fans, so we have to come out and perform. At the end, we should have won, but it didn't happen that way."

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