Backup guard hits 26 in near-perfect game


SEATTLE (AP) -- Tyronn Lue did miss, but nobody could quite
remember when.

Lue played perfectly in the fourth quarter Friday night, almost
single-handedly leading the Washington Wizards' come-from-behind
103-98 victory over the Seattle SuperSonics.

A reserve guard, Lue scored a career-high 26 points with five
3-pointers and helped Washington snap a five-game losing streak.

Lue made two free throws with 51.2 seconds left after
controlling a critical jump ball. He had 11 points in the fourth
quarter -- making all his field goals -- and also had six assists and
three rebounds before fouling out. He made five of five 3-pointers, shot
9-for-13 overall from the floor and 3-for-3 on free throws.

Sonics coach Nate McMillan called them "Jordan-type numbers."

"He was awesome," Washington coach Doug Collins said.
"Thirty-two minutes and I don't think he had one turnover."

He didn't.

"He couldn't miss a shot tonight," Seattle's Desmond Mason

Brent Barry matched his career-high with 31 points and Gary
Payton added 29 points and nine assists for the Sonics, who lost
for the third time in five days. Seattle had won four in a row at

Washington has won only three times in 10 games since Jordan had
knee surgery Feb. 27, but the team remains in playoff contention in
the Eastern Conference. Jordan is expected to be out at least
another two weeks.

"They have learned how to win without one key guy," Barry

Lue hit back-to-back 3-pointers midway through the final period,
and another with four minutes left that pulled Washington to 91-90.

"I got going pretty early," Lue said. "I got good looks at
the basket so I just started taking them and got into a good

Christian Laettner scored with 1:43 left to give the Wizards
their first lead of the quarter, and they kept it. He finished with
12 points and seven rebounds and Richard Hamilton added 25 points.

Mason added 17 points and nine rebounds for Seattle.

The Sonics lost two more players to injuries. Forward Rashard
Lewis, the team's second-leading scorer at 17.0 points a game,
left about 2:45 before halftime with a strained left shoulder. He
was hurt in a collision with teammate Jerome James and did not
return. He had four points and two assists in 19 minutes.

Lewis will undergo an MRI Saturday in Seattle while the team
travels to Los Angeles to play the Clippers.

Center Predrag Drobnjak left late in the third quarter with a
contusion to the left knee.

Seattle already was short-handed without forwards Vladimir
Radmanovic (sprained big toe) and Vin Baker (dislocated toes),
guard Earl Watson (separated left shoulder) and center Calvin Booth

"I don't know what's going on," Barry said. "All the injuries
for us are coming at once."

The Sonics went to the free throw line 16 times in the first
half compared to just twice for the Wizards, who took mostly jump
shots from the perimeter. They shot 53.8 percent from 3-point range
for the game and had 16 offensive rebounds, seven in the fourth

Seattle led by six early in the first quarter, marking the
biggest lead of the half. The Wizards took a 48-47 halftime lead on
Chris Whitney's three-point play with 21.7 seconds left.

The Sonics, who missed a chance to keep pace with eighth-place
Utah in the Western Conference, play 10 of their final 17 games at

Game notes
The Wizards held a 41-35 rebounding edge. ... McMillan said
the team is considering adding a big man on a 10-day contract
because of injuries. ... Booth will have season-ending surgery on
his right ankle Tuesday. Booth, 25, who sprained the ankle in a
preseason practice Oct. 28, has developed tendinitis. ... Seattle
speedskating sensation Apolo Anton Ohno attended his first Sonics
game, on the Olympian's final stop during a two-day return visit to
his home state. He received a standing ovation during a
second-quarter timeout. He was flying to Philadelphia on Friday
night where he said he would sign autographs for the QVC television
shopping network. "My life has been changing by the minute," he