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Pregame: Allen out with flu

BOSTON -- Celtics guard Ray Allen will sit out Wednesday's visit from the New Jersey Nets due to flu-like symptoms. Keyon Dooling will start in his place at shooting guard.

Allen, who admitted to battling a cold Monday night after a sizzling performance against the Wizards, didn't feel good this morning and was told to stay home from shootaround. He didn't improve enough to come to the game Wednesday night.

"He's human, he bleeds," Celtics coach Doc Rivers quipped.

The 36-year-old Allen is off to another hot start this season, averaging 20 points per game while shooting 56.5 percent from the floor overall and 61.1 percent from beyond the 3-point arc.

"We told him not to come," Rivers said. "This morning, I guess he got up and tried to go to shootaround. [Team trainer] Eddie Lacerte told me how he was feeling. We told him to stay away and, if he felt better tonight, to come [to the game]. Then when he didn’t feel much better, we told him to stay at home. The flu or whatever is going around from what I hear. So we’ll see if we can avoid it."

Dooling will be part of the puzzle to filling up Allen's typically lofty minutes.

"Everyone takes the minutes. Keyon will start, but we will sub him out early," Rivers said. "He’ll play the 2-1 tonight, starting [at shooting guard], then go back to the [point guard], then [second-year guard] Avery [Bradley] will go to the 2."

Center Jermaine O'Neal, who sat out Monday's game because of a sore left hamstring, is back in the starting lineup for Boston.

Boston can't lament the loss of Allen much. The Nets are playing without a trio of their stars in Brook Lopez, Kris Humphries and Deron Williams. How do the Celtics guard against a letdown facing a dinged-up opponent?

"By winning -- that's the only way," Rivers said. "You've got to come out and play. And if you don’t, you could lose. But if you do, you should win. You've got to play the game, you've got to perform. Our job, we’re not necessarily playing any opponent, the way I’ve always looked at it. We’re playing ourselves for the most part."