Celtics coach Rivers starts Allen, Perkins in Game 6 of Finals
BOSTON -- Ray Allen played the last two games of the NBA Finals knowing his son had diabetes. The Celtics shooting star even had to take an overnight flight from Los Angeles after spending time with him at a hospital.
On Tuesday night, Walker Allen became the son of a champion.
His father scored 26 points and Boston beat the Los Angeles Lakers 131-92 to win Game 6 and claim its 17th NBA title and first in 22 years.
"It's such a wonderful feeling to be able to do this on this night with all the stuff that has taken place over the weekend," said Allen, who first thought his son had a virus, "and to be able to share this with the fans in Boston has been great."
Allen rushed to the hospital after Sunday night's 103-98 Game 5 loss in Los Angeles.
"Found out he was diagnosed with diabetes and just had to play the game that Sunday, and then wonder whether he was OK," Allen said. "He wasn't doing well that day, so I got to his hospital bed after the game on Sunday and he started coming alive and everything was great.
"I just knew that that's where I needed to be."
Then they boarded a red-eye flight for the cross-country journey.
"We got in this morning and we took him to the hospital, and he was lively, so I was relieved to see that he was moving around," Allen said. "Just sitting in the hospital this morning, I hadn't slept really, and just now thinking how I'm going to sleep, get rest and how my body is going to respond to getting out here tonight."
It responded quite well. He even came back from a poke in the eye that forced him to miss much of the first half.
He had a scratch above his nose after getting raked in the face by Lamar Odom while making a layup with 4:30 left in the first quarter.
He went to the locker room with 4:20 left in the period and did not return for the start of the second. He ran out to the bench with 6:05 left in the half and went back into the game with 4:44 to go and Boston leading 43-31.
Coach Doc Rivers went to Allen when he returned to the bench, rubbed him on the head and said something that made him smile. Allen sat on the bench and appeared to be blinking before going back in the game.
The Celtics started their usual five despite Allen's delayed return and the shoulder injury that kept center Kendrick Perkins out of Game 5.
Perkins was the last Celtics starter to leave the locker room before Game 6. He finished with 2 points and 4 rebounds in 13½ minutes.
Rivers said he talked briefly before the game with Allen, who skipped Tuesday morning's shootaround.
"I said, 'How you doing?' I didn't even ask him about basketball, honestly," Rivers said. "I just asked him how he was doing. He said he's fine. That's all I needed to know.
"Ray is doing good. I mean, he's going to be fine," Rivers said. "Obviously, he's not had a lot of sleep over the last three days, probably. ... We were thinking about it before this morning, just how much he's probably had. It can't be much. But he's ready. You can see it, he's ready to play."
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press
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