Ray Allen sacrifices, shoots his way past Reggie Miller's 3-point playoff record

USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Heat needed a big game from reserve guard Ray Allen to beat the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday, and they got that along with a bit of history.

The Miami Heat had seen this before. Their battles during the last two seasons against the Boston Celtics already came uneasily, and on those Boston squads was the always-difficult Ray Allen.

Turn the storybook to Game 3 of Miami's series against the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday, and it was Allen burying one three-pointer after another for the Heat in a 104-91 win. And in the midst of his team-leading 23-point outburst off the bench, the first-year member of the Heat turned the history books by overtaking Reggie Miller's NBA playoff record of 320 three-pointers, finishing the night with 322.

"We don't take him for granted," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "Everyday Ray. Without him tonight, we probably don't have a chance to pull away and win in the fourth with LeBron on the bench. He's done this wherever he's been. We've been on the other end of it."

Allen clocked 30 minutes, hit 8-of-14 shots from the floor and went 5-of-8 on his three-pointers. It wasn't only about him, though. Miami rode his performance as if it wasn't a big deal that Dwyane Wade only scored four points. LeBron James likewise needed just 14 shot attempts and sat most of the fourth quarter in what was an easy win, and that ease came because of what the Heat had pressed all season long.

Sacrifices were made. A bench unit deepened even more in the third year of the 'big three' era didn't show signs of jealousy or frustration as Spoelstra tinkered with lineups, always going with the hot hand as the regular season progressed. Spoelstra said he didn't know many players with Allen's skillset and resume who would be willing to play just 20 minutes a night here and another 25 there.

"Coming off the bench, I look down the bench and I have Rashard Lewis, James Jones," Allen said "... everybody has sacrificed to be on this team.

"Every night you have to plug in the holes. "

As for the record books, Allen said he wasn't aware of the day's significance until someone alerted him of that he was approaching Miller's mark.

"I just think about the guys who came before me," Allen said. "Those guys set the bar. Reggie set the bar."

"I'm just carrying on that torch," he added. "Kids looking up at me ... one day they'll be there to take one of my records down."

Source: All quotations courtesy of the NBA.com live media conference stream.

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