Boston’s Ray Allen became the NBA’s all-time 3-point basket leader, but reigning league champions the Los Angeles Lakers spoiled his history-making night with a 92-86 victory on Thursday.
Kobe Bryant scored a game-high 23 points while Spain’s Pau Gasol added 20 as the Lakers, who trailed by 15 points early, improved to 37-16, second in the Western Conference in victories behind league-leading San Antonio.
“It was important [to win],” said Bryant, who scored 20 of his points in the second half. “We needed to prove we could come into this hostile environment and win.”
Allen, who led the Celtics with 20 points, sank his second 3-pointer of the game 10:12 into the opening period to move past former Indiana Pacers star Reggie Miller atop the NBA 3-pointer list with his 2,561st career 3-pointer.
“I almost felt a little embarrassed because there was so much attention surrounding this 3-point record,” Allen said. “It was so overwhelming, but it was a great moment. I’ll remember this for the rest of my life.”
Allen would add another 3-pointer during the loss, which left the Lakers and Celtics even in their season series after Boston’s 109-96 victory last month in Los Angeles.
Andrew Bynum added 16 points and nine rebounds for the Lakers, who also had nine rebounds from Gasol, while Paul Pierce scored 15 for the Celtics and Kevin Garnett added 10 points and 11 rebounds.
Boston, who lost to the Lakers in seven games in last year’s NBA Finals, fell to 38-14, level with Miami for the best record in the Eastern Conference. It was Boston’s third loss in four games and the Lakers’ fourth win in five.
The Celtics, without injured big men Shaquille O’Neal and Jermaine O’Neal, were outrebounded 47-36.
“Definitely hurts when you are down a number of guys, but we aren’t going to make excuses,” Pierce said. “We are more than capable of winning these types of games.”
Allen took only 6,430 shots to set the record, 56 fewer than Miller launched from beyond the arc in 18 seasons with the Pacers. Allen hit 39.8 percent to a 39.5 percent accuracy rate by Miller.
Miller was serving as a television commentator at the game as Allen, 35, broke his record.
“It’s so serendipitous that it happened the way it happened, Reggie in the building,” Allen said. “He just told me he was proud of me and he was excited for me. He said he was glad that he could be here in this moment.”
Once play stopped moments later, Allen shared a hug and handshake with Miller.
“All records are made to be broken,” Miller said. “I’m just so happy for him because this is one of the best guys. He’s so humble.”
Allen, ranked 25th on the all-time NBA scoring list in a 15-year career, bumped fists with Bryant in celebration of the feat after sharing a moment with Miller.
“It’s an unbelievable accomplishment,” Bryant said. “That’s just an unbelievable record. I’m proud of him for achieving that mark.”
NUGGETS 121, MAVERICKS 120
In Denver, Arron Afflalo sank a 19-footer at the buzzer as Denver ended Dallas’ 10-game winning streak in dramatic style.
Denver’s Nene hit 1 of 2 free throws with 33.3 seconds left to tie it, but Dirk Nowitzki hit one free throw with 19.6 seconds left to give Dallas a one-point lead.
Denver chose not to call a timeout, and Chauncey Billups found Afflalo, who got a shot off before the horn that went in to the roar of home fans.