Boston Celtics Paul Pierce stands beside former teammate and current Miami Heat player Ray Allen in the first half of their NBA basketball game at TD Garden in Boston

Ray Allen says he’ll ‘always be a Celtic’ (VIDEO)

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Ray Allen played five seasons with the Boston Celtics and was a member of the 2008 team that won the NBA title. Due to some internal disagreements and the opportunity that arose for him in Miami, Allen left Boston and joined the defending champion Heat in time to start this season.

Sunday marked Allen’s first return to Boston since defecting, and he was greeted by a mixed reaction of both cheers and boos to start, while his former team put together a video tribute that played on the scoreboard before the starting lineups were introduced.

Allen finished second on his team in scoring only to LeBron James, with 21 points on 7-17 shooting in 38 minutes. He was just 2-8 from three-point distance, but one of those came late in regulation under pressure-packed circumstances.

The experience was an odd one for Allen, who classified it as such during his post-game press conference. As seen in the video clip above (via CSN New England), the most interesting part came when Allen came clean about what his time spent in Boston meant to him, while adding that as far as he’s concerned, he’ll always be a Celtic.

Dwight Howard commits ridiculously sloppy inbound violation (video)

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An embarrassing lack of focus by the Rockets? I can hardly believe it.

Late in a game against a team Houston is battling for playoff position, Dwight Howard was just careless, stepping on the baseline as he inbounded the ball. It’s a needless goof, and he’ll get plenty of deserved criticism for it.

But don’t overlook Patrick Beverley‘s frustration foul on Damian Lillard before the ensuing inbound. That was nearly as foolish and even more costly.

The sequence sparked a 7-0 run for the Trail Blazers, who seized control of the game en route to a 116-103 win.

DeAndre Jordan dunks on Marcus Smart before Smart knows what’s happening (video)

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Marcus Smart went to tag DeAndre Jordan on the pick-and-roll, and Jordan took off from so far from the basket, he was dunking on Smart before the Celtics guard could do a thing.

Chris Paul finds brilliant counter to hack-a-DeAndre Jordan (video)

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I originally favored allowing Hack-a-Shaq as the NBA currently does. I found the strategy fascinated – why and when teams would use it and how their opponents would counter.

But it just became too common. Far too many games featured a parade of trips to the line, a boring stretch that made games too long. I thought the intrigue had run its course.

Then, Chris Paul pulled this move last night.

The Clippers guard saw Jonas Jerebko charging toward DeAndre Jordan to commit an intentional foul, so Paul stepped in front of an unsuspecting Jerebko and took the foul himself. That’s sent a good free-throw shooter to the line instead of the dismal Jordan.

Just an awesome heady play by Paul.