Ray Allen said it will be a night he never forgets. The former UConn star, who has a home outside of Hartford, drives through Worcester on his way from Boston and predicted that from now on that trip will always include the story of the preseason game that never ended.
Ray Allen said it will be a night he never forgets.
The former UConn star, who has a home outside of Hartford, drives through Worcester on his way from Boston and predicted that from now on that trip will always include the story of the preseason game that never ended.
"I will look back at it as one odd night," Allen he said while shaking his head after Friday's exhibition against the Nets that was canceled at halftime due to condensation on the floor.
After a day of concern about how the unusually high temperatures would affect the DCU Center playing surface, Celtics executive director of basketball operations Danny Ainge said that the floor "seemed OK" before the game.
But after a half of slipping and sliding -- during which the Celtics yanked Tony Allen, who tore ligaments in his knee last season, after just 29 seconds of the second quarter for his own protection -- the game was officially stopped.
Coach Doc Rivers, along with Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen, remained on the floor for several minutes signing autographs for some of the anxious and irate fans, before the building was emptied about a half-hour later.
Managing partner Stephen Pagliuca said after the game that full refunds, or 50 percent discounts to available tickets for regular season Celtics games, will be available to those of the estimated 10,000 in attendance with proof of purchase. The Celtics issued a news release after the game saying details of the refund/discount will be posted on the team's Web site.
"We feel that fans came to see a game and the game couldn't be played," Pagliuca said. "It doesn't matter whose fault it is. We feel we really need to give them a refund or discount tickets. We will figure out a way to take care of the fans."
Rivers said the Nets, who did not bring Vince Carter, Richard Jefferson or Jason Kidd for the trip, had to cancel their shootaround in the morning because "the conditions were unplayable." He said he preached caution to his players before the game.
"I was concerned, obviously," he said. "The players just kept complaining, both sides.
"Both teams have worked too hard to risk an injury," he continued. "We just tried to do as much as we could for the fans. I would say, risking the first half was a risk, honestly."
Rivers said Garnett, Pierce and Ray Allen would not have played in the second half regardless of the conditions. The officials had the final call on the cancellation after consulting with both teams.
The Celtics had a 36-33 lead in the half. Despite the conditions, the starters made the most of it in the first quarter with a 17-0 run and a 21-8 lead at the first break. Boston did not allow a field goal for the final 7:28 of the first quarter with the starters in the game.
Rajon Rondo had four points and five assists in the full quarter, giving the fans at least a couple of reasons to feel good for a while with nifty feeds to Garnett, Ray Allen and Pierce. The starters did not play in the second quarter.
"It was like the floor was sweating," Allen said. "A leak you can contain, but this was all over the floor. I felt like I was running on water sometimes, or running on ice."