The highlight reel is usually reserved for Ray Allen, not Tony Allen. It was quite the opposite last night.
Ray Allen scored his only 2 points of the Celtics' 100-96 win over the Grizzlies on two free throws with 9.3 seconds remaining. The seven-time All-Star missed all nine of his field goal attempts in 35 minutes. He failed to score in double figures for the first time this season and was limited to 2 points for the first time since April 9, 1999, when he was 0 for 8 from the field and made two free throws for the Bucks at Cleveland.
"Shots just didn't fall for me," he said. "I just had to fall off of it and not press. Just kind of let it take shape. Whether I scored tonight didn't seem like a big deal coming toward the end because I knew we won the game."
Tony Allen, meanwhile, came in averaging 5 points. But he scored a season-high 20 on 8-of-15 shooting against Memphis, with two 3-pointers and three steals.
The Celtics' bench contributed 42 points, including fine performances from James Posey (9 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists) and Eddie House (8 points, including two 3-pointers).
"Tony came in and provided a great lift for us," said Ray Allen. "It's a comfort to know that we have a group of guys on both sides of the floor that can get the job done."
Tough to swallow
It was hard to tell who got it worse, Posey or Grizzlies forward Rudy Gay. With 2:18 remaining in the third quarter, Posey chipped one of Gay's teeth when he swiped for the ball with his left arm. Gay, however, bit Posey's forearm in the process, a wound that required four stitches.
"He bit me when he chipped his tooth," Posey said. "It was an accident, but it still hurt when it happened."
Said Gay: "He swiped for the ball and he hit me in my face ... I don't think it was on purpose."
Stoudamire wants out
The Commercial Appeal of Memphis reported yesterday that Grizzlies point guard Damon Stoudamire hopes to get bought out of his contract or traded, according to his agent, Aaron Goodwin.
Stoudamire is averaging 7.3 points and 3.9 assists, but the Grizzlies have decided to give most of the playing time to rookies Mike Conley and Juan Carlos Navarro.
"Damon is a veteran who has had great success in the league," Grizzlies general manager Chris Wallace said. "He's a true professional and he's come back very successfully from his knee injury in the last couple of years and he can put the ball in the basket, too. He is going to be attractive for teams looking for additional help at the point guard position heading into the stretch run of the season."
Stoudamire declined comment, but Goodwin told the Globe yesterday his client has done everything Memphis has asked him to do.
"They are going to try to develop the two younger guys," Goodwin said. "But they have to do right by Damon and that's with two players that couldn't beat him out in training camp."
Could the Celtics, who could use a veteran backup point guard, have interest in Stoudamire?
He is making $4.3 million this season and $4.65 million next season. If the Celtics are interested, they would likely have to acquire him via trade since Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley told the Commercial Appeal he is not interested in a buyout.
Celtics coach Doc Rivers said: "He's a terrific player ... He's a veteran. He knows how to run the position. He's been through a lot and stood up to it."
In all of his seven All-Star appearances, Ray Allen has never been voted in by the fans as a starter. But if more Celtics fans get to the polls soon, Allen could end up starting for the Eastern Conference at this year's All-Star Game.
During the third released balloting by the fans Thursday, Allen (617,123) was third among East guards in voting behind Miami's Dwyane Wade (1,019,582) and New Jersey's Jason Kidd (743,683). While Allen is far behind Wade, Kidd is still in reach. Voting continues through Jan. 13 for paper balloting and Jan. 20 for balloting on NBA.com for the All-Star Game in New Orleans Feb. 17.
"It definitely would be special for me," Allen said about the possibility of starting, "but more so to my family. Every year they want to know if I made it because they are so excited and they cheer for me all year. But at the end of the day, whether you're a starter or off the bench, making the All-Star team is special."
Allen is averaging 18.3 points, 4 rebounds, and 3.2 assists. Kidd is averaging 11.5 points, 10.5 assists, and 8.6 rebounds.
Celtics forward Kevin Garnett is the leading vote-getter in the league and is expected to start for the East. Garnett and Cleveland's LeBron James are projected to get more fan votes than Celtics forward Paul Pierce, who likely will be voted in as an East reserve by the coaches. Rivers will be the Eastern coach if his team has the conference's top record on Feb. 3.
Allen and Rivers believe winning will settle all the All-Star matters.
"Making the All-Star team is a great award," Allen said. "But all those things come because we win and we have been winning."
Said Rivers: "I can't control fans and everything like that. The wins will take care of it. If we keep winning, then I think good things will happen. If we don't keep winning, then good things will not happen. That's the way it should be. That's the way I look at it."
Thanks for memories
Yesterday marked the one-year anniversary of the beginning of the Celtics' franchise-worst 18-game losing streak. Rivers wasn't too thrilled about being reminded about it by the media. "Oh, thanks for bringing that up," he said with a smile. "And no one gave me flowers. Well, you've left me speechless. As you know with me, that's tough. Where is [Jets coach] Herman Edwards when I need him?"