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Sports

January 29, 2009

House Money

Celtics backup guard states case for All-Star 3-point contest

BOSTON — Eddie House was so money, the ball turned green. He was so deadly, the sellout crowd serenaded him. His stroke was so pure, even Sam Cassell chanted his name in the locker room.

House lit up TD Banknorth Garden like a Roman candle last night, pouring in 28 points on 10-of-13 shooting. He hit a career-high eight 3-pointers, delivering a flurry of fourth-quarter punches that knocked out the Sacramento Kings.

"It feels good right now," he said after Boston's 119-100 victory. "It feels real good."

The 6-foot-1 reserve guard, in his eighth season out of Arizona State, can't remember a stretch like this. In the past week alone, he's had two seven-trey games and one eight-trey performance.

He hopes it will earn him a spot in the NBA 3-point shootout over All-Star weekend.

"I'd say I'm making a strong case to get in there," he said with a smile.

More importantly, House and his second-unit cohorts are looking much better of late. Newly activated Tony Allen (10 points), who was sharp in his first game back from a sprained ankle, and Glen Davis (14 points) helped down the struggling Kings (10-37). The Celtics, who actually trailed by 10 in the first quarter, have won nine straight.

"All season we've been trying to find our niche, our identity," House said. "I think we've finally found it."

For a born scorer — House once dropped 61 points in a college game — the role can't be easy to play. He averages 17.5 minutes per game but is counted on to sink long-range jumpers consistently.

"Ego wise," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said this week, "he has no problem with that. He comes in and he knows what to do."

As a backup, House watches games like an honorary assistant coach. It's a lesson Rivers hopes his young bench players will learn.

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