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Scott Souza makes the case that the Scal chants are less mocking and more approving these days.

Yet over the past two weeks, any melodramatic enthusiasm for Scalabrine has turned legitimate. Since getting the call as the first player off the bench in the overtime victory in Milwaukee on Nov. 15, he has established himself as part of the extended rotation. During the team’s five-game winning streak entering Wednesday night’s game against Golden State, Scalabrine has averaged about 16 minutes a game, including a 21-minute effort as a spot starter on Nov. 18 against the Knicks while Kevin Garnett served a one-game NBA suspension.

The shot that was a punch line during his first three years in Boston has become a valuable weapon for the team as he’s hit on 9-of-14 attempts over that stretch, including 6-of-8 on 3-pointers.

Once the fans’ whipping boy, he has returned to the crowd favorite he was with the Nets during the first four years of his career.