SEATTLE (AP) -- Seattle's Rashard Lewis lived up to his nickname
"The Quiet Man."
In a game that featured the return of Vin Baker to the lineup,
Lewis quietly scored 18 of his 26 points in the second half as the
Sonics beat the Warriors for the 12th straight time, 110-93 Tuesday
"The guy is so quiet," Sonics coach Nate McMillan said of
Lewis. "I didn't realize he had 26 points. I just didn't see it."
Gary Payton got the Sonics off to a good start, scoring 17 of
his 21 points in the first quarter.
"I just came out and did what I was supposed to do," said
Payton. "We ran the plays and I made the shots."
It was a pretty simple formula, and it worked.
McMillan wanted his team to come out fast, knowing that Golden
State had lost a close game to Washington the night before.
The Warriors are now 4-13 in the second game of back-to-backs.
Baker, who missed 17 games because of three dislocated toes on
his left foot, scored only three points in 22 minutes, but
contributed inside with seven rebounds.
"I felt like a rookie, but I was having fun," said Baker.
"I'm just excited about getting back on the floor and helping the
Seattle's win, coupled with a loss by Utah, moved the Sonics 1 1/2
games ahead of the Jazz for seventh place in the West.
"I knew Danny was being aggressive and playing hard," Warriors
coach Brian Winters said. "He had a good game."
Seattle scored the first seven points of the game and never
Lewis shot 12-of-18 from the field. He missed Sunday's game
against the Los Angeles Clippers with a strained left shoulder, but
looked and played healthy.
Lewis said that he wasn't even able to lift his arm higher than
his shoulder a day earlier.
"Once they blew the whistle and threw the ball up, the shoulder
wasn't even on my mind," Lewis said.
With four minutes remaining in the third quarter, Lewis made a
steal and outraced the Warriors to the other end for a leaping slam
dunk, pushing Seattle's lead to 86-67.
Although the Warriors had six players in double-digits, they
failed to make a serious run at the Sonics in the second half.
Payton came out hot in the early stages of the game, hitting
five of his first seven shots. His 20-footer with 5:51 to play in
the first quarter helped the Sonics jump out to a 21-13 advantage.
Seattle closed the first 12 minutes leading 35-23, and Payton had
Golden State reduced the lead to seven, 47-40, when Desmond
Mason was called for goaltending on a layup by Chris Mills. Mason
quickly responded at the other end with a short leaning jumper in
Predrag Drobnjak, making his first start of the season, then
blocked Bob Sura's layup attempt. He then ran the length of the
floor to receive a pass from Brent Barry for a layup, pushing the
lead to 51-40 with 5:35 to play in the half.
Baker made his first appearance in the game with three minutes
to play in the first quarter. He was back in the lineup sooner than
expected, and it came at a good time as Seattle has suffered a rash
of injuries. Vladimir Radmanovic (sprained toe, foot), Calvin Booth
(ankle) and Earl Watson (separated shoulder) are not available to
"With Vin back, we can play big and have me back at the
three," Lewis said. "That makes us a little more comfortable on
The Sonics went 12-5 during the 17-game stretch with Baker on
the injured list. During that time, the team crawled into position
to gain a spot in the playoffs. Of the 40 games that Baker has
started this season, the Sonics have posted a 18-22 record.
The Warriors have not won in Seattle since March 6, 1995.
Fortson returned to the Warriors lineup after being
suspended two games by the league for exceeding the maximum
allowable flagrant foul penalty points for the season. ... Payton did not have a steal in the game and needs five to become the ninth player in league history to reach 2,000 . ... Jerome James suffered a right shin contusion in the third quarter and did not return, but
the injury in not considered serious.
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