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Rondo went over and told Allen the same thing, and then Garnett did, too, “which I thought was great for Ray to hear, confidence-wise,” Rivers said. “I thought that was big for him to hear.”

Allen checked back into the game near the end of the third quarter, and he found himself open from 3-point range early in the fourth. He dribbled a few steps, realized he was still open, and fired up the shot.

It went in, and the crowd rose to give him a standing ovation.

Ray is the ultimate gunslinger,” Rivers said. “You know, I was a basketball player one day. And I would’ve never taken that shot late in the game like Ray, after missing my first (five). First of all, I wouldn’t have been in. … It was just impressive. You felt like if he got a shot - I didn’t know if he was going to make it, but I knew he was going to take it.”