BOSTON -- There's no question that Ray Allen is one of the best pure shooters to ever play in the NBA.
But Boston's sharpshooter simply could not find his shot in Boston's thrilling 98-95 overtime victory over Portland during regulation, when he missed 9-of-11 shots.
In overtime, however, Boston coach Doc Rivers kept calling Allen's number. And Allen delivered by knocking down the game-winning basket. After having missed 11 of his previous 13 shots, Allen buried a 3-pointer from the right wing to give Boston a 96-95 lead with 41.3 seconds left.
The Celtics then played tenacious defense down the stretch to hold on for the victory and snap a three-game losing streak.
"Ray's a shooter and he just had to keep shooting," Rivers said. "Thank gosh he made one."
Rivers said that every shooter goes through a slump once upon a time, and last night was Allen's turn.
"He had one of those nights," Rivers said. "He missed two technical foul shots and that was probably the first time in his career...Shooters shoot and eventually you just think of the odds - every miss the odds are on our side more. That's the way I was looking at it."
Allen has knocked down 39.7 percent of his 3-point shots in his career, but this year he is only averaging 34.7 percent from behind-the-arc, which is a career low.
But Rivers had total confidence in Allen in the final minute of the game.
"He has too much history of makes to ever doubt [him]," Rivers said. "...A good player wouldn't have taken another shot the rest of the game, and the great ones, they truly believe the next one's going in."