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Mason blocks Kidd's potential game-winning shot

SEATTLE (AP) -- Brent Barry doesn't discriminate with his shots.
He'll put one up right after tipoff or as the seconds are ticking
down at game's end.

He sure timed this one right.

Barry hit a 3-pointer with 3.3 seconds remaining, lifting the
SuperSonics to a 96-95 win over the New Jersey Nets on Sunday night
and ending Seattle's three-game losing streak.

It was the second time in a week that Barry nailed a 3-pointer
to win. His basket with 4.7 seconds to go sealed Seattle's 91-90
victory at San Antonio on Nov. 24.

"I have confidence in my shot, to shoot at any time,'' Barry
said. "The fact that they come at the end of the game, it doesn't
really matter. They've all been rhythm shots, shots that guys
created and it's in the flow of what's happening.''

Gary Payton had 28 points and 10 rebounds for Seattle. Barry and
Rashard Lewis scored 14 each, while Desmond Mason had 12.

Jason Kidd had 27 points to go with eight rebounds and eight
assists for the Nets, who had two starters sidelined by injuries in
Dikembe Mutombo and Kerry Kittles. Lucious Harris, making his first
start in two years, scored a season-high 23 points, while Richard
Jefferson had 14.

This one represented a little more, though. It was a boost for
the Sonics, who had lost six of seven and were coming off their
worst effort of the season in an 83-72 loss to Houston on Friday.

"We needed that win,'' said Mason, who passed to Barry for the
game-winner and then blocked Kidd's layup attempt at the other end.
"It just brings the morale of the team back up.''

Jefferson could have sealed the victory for New Jersey, but he
missed two foul shots after Mason pulled the Sonics to 95-93 with a
fallaway jumper with 10.5 seconds to go.

"My teammates did everything they needed to,'' Jefferson said.
"I'm taking 100 percent responsibility for this loss.''

The rebound went to Vladimir Radmanovic. He passed to Mason, who
found Barry wide open on the right wing for a 3-pointer.

"We pushed the ball up and Des made a great kickout,'' Barry
said. "It looked like he was going to drive to the hoop, but there
was a lot of space out there on the 3-point line. It felt good to
make that one.''

The Nets had one more chance to win, but Kidd's driving flip was
blocked by Mason at the buzzer.

"We had a good look, but I didn't see Desmond,'' Kidd said.
"There was someone in front of me. Desmond made a good play.''

New Jersey coach Byron Scott was angry there was no foul called,
and the Nets walked off the court frustrated while the Sonics
celebrated at the other end.

"Jason had a lane to the basket, but he couldn't see me coming
from the blind side,'' Mason said. "He kind of laid it up soft and
I went up there and got it.''

Against the Rockets, Seattle set season lows for points (72),
second-half points (26) and third-quarter points (11). Against the
defending Eastern Conference champions, the Sonics were determined
to show they're a better team.

"Man, this is a strange game,'' Seattle coach Nate McMillan
said. "I thought the guys kept working throughout the game.''

Payton didn't play well against the Rockets, shooting 3-of-16.
Matched up against Kidd, he had 16 points by halftime and posted
his 10th double-double of the season.

"I've had bad shooting nights for 13 years,'' Payton said.
"That stuff doesn't bother me. I'm going to come out and take the
same shots I've been taking. If I'm not making shots, so what? I'll
do something else.''

Mutombo and Kittles watched in street clothes from the bench.

Mutombo sprained his right wrist Thursday against the Los
Angeles Clippers and missed his second straight game. Kittles, New
Jersey's best shooter at 49 percent, bruised his right knee
Saturday night against Portland.

Kidd refused to use that as an excuse.

"You can only play with the guys who suit up,'' he said.
"That's basketball.''

Game notes
X-rays on Mutombo and Kittles were negative. Additional
tests are planned after the Nets return home. ... Sonics C Calvin
Booth was excused because of a death in his family. ... Nets F
Kenyon Martin, who had six rebounds in the first quarter, has
fouled out of three straight games. ... Before tipoff, Payton
received a game ball from former Seattle sharpshooter Fred Brown,
who had been the franchise's career leader in games played (964)
until Payton passed him Friday.


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