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Ray Allen might skip surgery on sore right ankle

BOSTON —  Ray Allen’s sore right ankle felt so good before Game 4 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals last night, he said he may change his mind about undergoing surgery this summer to remove bone spurs. “I know I said that a couple weeks ago,” Allen said, “and I believed that just from the pictures, but based on how I feel now and where my body is I’ll revisit, getting X-rays and MRI when it’s over with and make an assessment then because if I continue on this track and I know I’m getting better then I don’t need to have surgery if it’s not necessary.” Allen, who turns 37 in July, will be a free agent this summer so surgery could scare teams away if he doesn’t stay in Boston. Allen had bone spurs removed from both ankles the spring before he joined the Celtics in 2007 and he admitted later that the ankles bothered him the first part of that season. Allen’s ankle was painful Saturday after returned from an 11-game absence and played 37 minutes in Game 3, but it felt better yesterday. “I had to walk sideways,” he said. “It just felt that tough and that achy. I couldn’t do anything (Saturday). It was throbbing. I got in and I got treatment. All day it felt like I was pulling my leg along, but I woke up (Sunday) morning and I was back right where I hoped I’d be.” Allen was not surprised that he sank his first jumper in Game 3 despite not having played since April 10. “No, not at all,” Allen said. “I would have been surprised if I missed it. I knew when I put myself out there, I knew I was ready to play.” Allen also made his first shot last night, a 16-footer, after replacing Avery Bradley in the first quarter. Allen finished with 12 points and five rebounds in Boston’s Game 4 victory. Allen said his only restriction on the court is an inability to cut as sharp or as hard as he’d like. He loosens up his ankle by standing in front of the bench and stretching it. Allen has kept a close eye on No. 8 Philadelphia taking a 3-1 series lead over No. 1 Chicago, which has lost Derrick Rose for the season and didn’t have Joakim Noah for a Game 4 loss yesterday. Because of those injuries, Allen said, “It doesn’t have that 1-8 feel to it.” Garnett’s ragged pace eases Kevin Garnett came within nine seconds of playing 40 or more minutes in each of the first three games of this playoff series. He played 40:18 in Game 1, 39:51 in Game 2 and 42 minutes in Game 3. Prior to this series, Garnett had played 40 or more minutes only three times since hurting his knee in February of 2009. He did it against the Knicks this season and in the playoffs once each of the past two years. Garnett played only 27 minutes in Boston’s easy win last night. Bradley’s popping shoulder Bradley had six points in 19 minutes for the Celtics after sitting out most of the second half in Game 3 when his left shoulder popped out of place. “It hurt me, but I tried not to think about it,” Bradley said. “I just went out there and played hard. I knew my team needed the energy and that’s what I wanted to bring.” Bradley’s shoulder popped out of place a few times this season, including in practice, but the Celtics popped it back in place. The shoulder wouldn’t pop back in place during Game 3, but Bradley said treatment helped him feel better. Will surgery be needed this summer? “I doubt it,” Bradley said. “I’m just going to continue to get it stronger.” Horford returns It wasn’t too surprising that Josh Smith (strained tendon left knee) and Tracy McGrady (sprained right ankle) played for Atlanta, but it was that Al Horford made his first appearance since Jan. 11. Horford, who had been sidelined with a torn left pectoral muscle, scored 12 points. The lights went out in the Hawks’ locker room for a few seconds before the game while McGrady was talking to the media. “That’s what I want to do tonight,” McGrady said. “I want to shoot the freaking lights out.” McGrady made only one of three shots. Articles Most Read Today

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