Allen, Celtics top Timberwolves as Garnett faces old teamOct 10, 2007 - 10:33 PM By Ian Parker Special to PA SportsTicker
LONDON (Ticker) -- Ray Allen lived in the United Kingdom in his youth, and he looked right at home in London on Wednesday night.
The All-Star guard scored 28 points to lead the Boston Celtics to a 92-81 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves in preseason action.
Former Minnesota star Kevin Garnett scored just nine points for the Celtics, who faced off with the Timberwolves for the first time since the two teams pulled off an unprecedented seven-for-one deal this summer.
But Allen, who is the Celtics' other big offseason acquisition, was the offensive star.
"We knew we had a job to do," Allen said. "We took care of business in Rome and we came to London and took care of business. We did some things we were not to fond of, a lot of turnovers, some missed free throws, but we're building, it's exciting."
A sellout crowd at the O2 Arena was treated to a close game in the early stages with the lead changing hands constantly.
Most fans had come to see Boston's star trio of Garnett, Allen and Paul Pierce, but it was Ricky Davis who stole the limelight early on - scoring 16 of his 18 points in the first half to keep Minnesota in the game.
In contrast, Garnett - playing against the team where he spent the first 12 years of his career before being traded this summer - was slow to get into the action as the Celtics worked to get their revamped offense into gear.
When it did click, it was Allen who had the hot hand. He made 11-of-14 shots from the field, including 5-of-8 from the arc, to torch Minnesota's defense.
With Allen in such fine form, his teammates could take a backseat.
"Some nights there'll be one guy who really gets it going and we're going to milk that," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. "Some nights when one guy gets going the others will have to wait, but they embrace that. When all three get it going, those games are going to be fun."
Garnett still made his mark, shooting 3-of-6 from the field and collecting six rebounds and three blocks.
Leading by seven points at halftime, it was the start of the third quarter when Boston began to pull ahead. It took a 15-point advantage, but there was time for the Timberwolves to claw their way back into the game.
Rashad McCants nailed a 3-pointer early in the fourth quarter to bring Minnesota within seven.
When Craig Smith sank two free throws with 6:50 to go, Minnesota's deficit was down to just five at 80-75. But it would get no closer as Boston dug deep to re-open its advantage and cruise to victory.
Throughout the night, both teams were cheered on by an enthusiastic crowd getting its first chance to watch live NBA action for over a decade. Players on both sides were impressed by the atmosphere.
"I said it on the bench, this is the NBA right here," Allen said. "You saw everything you see in the NBA."
"The fans were great," Timberwolves forward Ryan Gomes said. "There was a lot of cheering for both teams. We had a great time out there, we just didn't get the win."
- AT LONDON
NBA BOSTON 92
MINNESOTA 81 FINAL
Oct 10 5:06 PM
- AT LONDON
NBA BOSTON 75
MINNESOTA 63 END, 3RD QTR
Oct 10 4:30 PM
- AT LONDON
NBA BOSTON 50
MINNESOTA 43 HALFTIME
Oct 10 3:40 PM
- AT LONDON
NBA BOSTON 23
MINNESOTA 22 END, 1ST QTR
Oct 10 3:01 PM
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