Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 2)

Series starts 1/11

Game 1: Friday, January 11th
Game 2: Tuesday, February 26th

SuperSonics 109

(31-26, 15-14 away)

Cavaliers 89

(20-36, 13-16 home)

    Coverage: FSOH

    7:00 PM ET, February 26, 2002

    Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, OH

    1 2 3 4 T
    SEA 32 30 22 25109
    CLE 30 26 19 1489

    Top Performers

    Sea: G. Payton 25 Pts, 6 Reb, 8 Ast, 3 Stl

    Cle: W. Person 22 Pts, 4 Reb, 2 Ast, 2 Stl, 1 Blk

    Cavs winless vs. Sonics since Nov. 27, 1993

    CLEVELAND (AP) -- Seattle already led the league in shooting percentage. By playing some defense, too, the Sonics extended their road winning streak to seven games.

    Gary Payton

    Gary Payton wriggled through the Cleveland defense for 25 points.

    The SuperSonics forced 14 second-half turnovers and Gary Payton scored 25 points as Seattle beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 109-89 Tuesday night.

    After both teams shot 62 percent in the first half, Seattle held Cleveland to 33 points in the second half.

    "It was a matter of which team was going to step up and play some defense in the third quarter," said Brent Barry, who finished two rebounds shy of a triple-double.

    Barry went 4-for-5 from 3-point range, scoring 16 points with 11 assists and eight rebounds. Desmond Mason also had 16 points and Predrag Drobnjak scored 15 off the bench.

    Wesley Person had 22 for the Cavaliers, who have lost 14 in a row against Seattle.

    The SuperSonics lead the NBA with a 46.6 shooting percentage.

    "Both teams have excellent perimeter shooting. We tightened up defensively and that was a key point in the game," Seattle coach Nate McMillan said.

    The SuperSonics, who never trailed, put the game away with a 12-2 run to open the fourth quarter. Rashard Lewis' 3-pointer and scores from Drobnjak, Mason and Jerome James gave Seattle a 95-75 lead midway through the fourth.

    Barry opened the third quarter with two 3-pointers and a three-point play. Six of his points came during an 8-0 run that gave Seattle its biggest lead to that point, 73-62, with 7:23 left.

    Seattle widened the lead to 86-73 at the end of the third quarter, capped by Payton's 3-pointer at the buzzer.

    "It was big," Andre Miller said. "We're only down by 10 there and the next thing you know after the third quarter we're down by 20 points."

    Both teams shot well in first half, but Cleveland couldn't keep up the pace. Miller said the Cavaliers lacked intensity as they shot 11-of-35 (31 percent), including 1-of-10 from 3-point range, in the second half.

    "We kind of came out a little sluggish. Guys weren't hitting their shots," Ricky Davis said. "They stepped up on the defensive end."

    Cleveland coach John Lucas gave rookie DeSagana Diop his first start so the 7-footer could match up against Seattle's 7-foot-1, 270-pound James.

    Diop, the eighth overall pick in last year's NBA draft out of Oak Hill Academy, previously played just 101 minutes in 17 games.

    The SuperSonics went after Diop immediately with James scoring Seattle's first four points.

    "I knew that was going to happen. I scored too. ... That settled me down," Diop said.

    Diop had five points in six minutes, including a three-point play for his first made free throw of the year.

    He saw another three minutes in the third quarter, but left with 5:36 left with a strained right foot. He said after the game that the injury was not serious.

    Diop was replaced in the first quarter by Davis, who scored on a fast break to tie it 25-25 after the Cavaliers had trailed by as many as seven. Drobnjak had Seattle's last seven points of the first quarter to give the SuperSonics a 32-30 lead.

    Cleveland would get no closer than a 45-45 tie with 6:55 left in the second quarter. Person was 6-of-7 for 15 points and Zydrunas Illgauskas had 11 points, including seven free throws, in the first half. Illgauskas finished with 16.

    Payton had 16 points and scored Seattle's last eight for a 62-56 halftime lead.

    Game notes

    The SuperSonics have won six of seven games since Vin Baker went on the injured list Feb. 22 with three dislocated toes on his left foot. ... Cleveland placed Chris Mihm on the injured list before the game with a right knee contusion and activated Brian Skinner. ... Payton needs seven more assists to pass Kevin Johnson's 6,711 for 14th all-time. ... The SuperSonics, who shot 51 percent, are 15-1 when they shoot better than 50 percent. ... Barry's 11 assists tied a career high. ... Diop, 20, became the youngest player to start a game for Cleveland. Brad Daugherty started at 21.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press