The Miami Heat turned to their basketball savior once again to finally put away their season demon called the Brooklyn Nets in Game 5 of their second round series. Down by eight points with less than five minutes to play, the defending NBA champions turned up the defensive heat and forced the Nets to nine straight misses while racking up 12 unanswered points to finish the game and the series 96-94.

Again, it was Ray Allen’s huge three pointer that gave the Heat the go ahead basket with 32 seconds left and sealed the doom of Brooklyn’s $190M payroll team.

Allen was 0-6 from three point distance before that game changing shot, but there was no doubt that when he released that shot, it was going to shatter the title hopes of his former Celtics’ teammates Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. Pierce and Garnett were recruited by Brooklyn in the offseason to beef up their line up and make it Heat-proof. But on Wednesday night, Ray Allen did it again. He stuck a dagger right through the heart of Brooklyn just as he has done time and again.

He Got Game

Allen, who played the role of Jesus Shuttlesworth in the movie “He got Game”, is the NBA’s all-time leader in three point shots made in the regular season and the playoffs. He may be running on 38 year old legs, but he is one of the game’s greatest clutch shooters. He’s had a long resume of memorable post-season games that are part of NBA folklore. Here are a few of them:

Game 6, 2001 Eastern Conference Finals– Allen explodes for 41 points to send the series to a Game 7. The Bucks lost game 7 to the 76ers, but this was as close as the Bucks have been to the finals in recent history.

Game 4, 2008 NBA Finals-The Boston Celtics complete the greatest comeback in NBA Finals history by erasing a 24 point 2nd quarter lead to beat the Lakers. Allen played all 48 minutes and scored the winning layup with 16.4 seconds left in the game

Game 6, 2008 NBA Finals- Allen hit an NBA record with 7 three pointers in a 131-92 win over the Lakers

Game 2, 2009 1st Round- Ray Allen hit an improbable three pointer over Joakim Noah to save the Celtics from losing Game 2 and falling behind 0-2 in the series against the Bulls.

Game 6, 2009 1st Round– Allen scores 51 points in the most productive post season performance of his NBA career. The Game went to three overtimes and Allen hit a total of nine three pointers. The Celtics however, lost this game against the Bulls.

Game 2, 2010 NBA Finals– After losing Game 1, Ray Allen returns the home court advantage to the Celtics after shooting an NBA finals record 8 three pointers against the LA Lakers on a night where Paul Pierce and KG were a combined 4-16 from the field.

Game 3, 2011 1st Round– Allen conquers the Knicks at Madison Square Garden with 32 points including 8 three pointers via a 113-96 win. In Game 1 of this series, Allen beat the Knicks with a buzzer beater. And the greatest of them all was that Game 6 three pointer against the Spurs in last year’s NBA Finals. Miami was on the brink of losing their title but Allen’s legendary three pointer sent the game to overtime and set up an overtime win for the Heat. Miami completed its resurrection by winning the title in Game 7.

Now, Allen is starting to hit the stride again.

Allen Takes Control

Allen was 0-6 from three point distance before that crucial three pointer. But as in the past, that did not matter. He finished the game with 13 points and hit clutch free throws to seal the deal.

Look at Ray Allen’s averages from the regular season up to the second round:

  Minutes Points Three Point FG Rebounds FG%
Regular season 26.5 9.6 1.6-4.2 2.8 .442
1st round 20.3 3.3 0.8-2.8 2.8 .263
2nd round 27.0 13.0 1.8-5.0 4.8 .488

Ray’s starting to pick up the slack. His scoring averages have gone to double digits in the second round. The Nets swept the Heat in the regular season. And although there were close games in the series, the Heat pulled it off and Allen was the X factor in that series.

Allen’s numbers have significantly changed as the playoffs have gone deeper. He knows that it is crunch time and crunch time means it’s time to turn it up a notch. After eliminating the Nets, Mario Chalmers said that it’s great to have the best three point shooter in the history of the NBA to his left during that clutch play. That was an understatement.

The Heat have assembled the Big Three to lead them to the Promised Land. But even the King needs a savior. And for the Miami Heat, Ray Allen has become that man.

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