Lewis had 19 points and 13 rebounds, hitting a turnaround jumper
with 43.1 seconds remaining and two free throws with 10.3 seconds
left to lead Seattle to a dramatic 85-81 victory over the Dallas
Mavericks on Sunday night.
''I had no conscience,'' Lewis said. ''I was just thinking, 'Put
it through the hoop.'''
The Sonics have slumped this month, opening the new year with
six defeats before an overtime victory Friday against Memphis. But
Seattle looked steady down the stretch in handing the Mavericks
their third consecutive defeat.
''They're the best team in the NBA right now,'' Lewis said.
''They only have eight losses, and that tells you what kind of team
we are when we come to play.''
The Mavericks completed a 1-3 road trip that included a 123-94
defeat in Sacramento and a 111-106 setback at Phoenix.
''It's been a tough road trip,'' said Dallas center Raef
LaFrentz. ''We didn't see this coming. We didn't expect to be
coming off three losses, but we are. We've just got to work through
Peja Drobnjak scored 19 points in a rare reserve role for the
Sonics, hitting eight of 13 to break out of his three-game shooting
slump. Kenny Anderson scored 13 points and made a key jumper from
the left corner with 1:49 to play.
''It was a spot-up,'' Anderson said. ''They moved the ball in
the rotation. I was open, and I just stepped in and hit it.''
The Sonics built an 81-76 lead on Anderson's jumper, only to see
the Mavericks tie it again at 81 with 58.6 seconds to play on an
inside bucket and a 3-pointer by Michael Finley.
''They came down and made some big shots and key stops,'' Finley
said. ''There's a reason we lost, but it didn't come down to those
last possessions. Throughout the game, we let them get
With the Sonics up 83-81, Lewis had a chance to extend the lead
but missed a layup, then battled LaFrentz for the rebound. Lewis
crashed into the Mavericks' bench, but officials ruled LaFrentz had
touched the ball last.
''Definitely off Lewis,'' Finley said.
LaFrentz was less certain.
''I was just hustling for the ball,'' he said. ''It came off the
glass and I had a hand on it. The ref made the call he thought was
Lewis was fouled on the ensuing inbounds pass and hit two free
throws to put Seattle ahead 85-81 with 10.3 seconds left.
The Mavericks got one more opportunity. Steve Nash drove and
missed a runner in the lane with four seconds to go, and Lewis
grabbed the rebound as the raucous Key Arena crowd celebrated and
the Mavericks trudged off the court.
''It was a big win for us after the month that we've seen,''
Sonics coach Nate McMillan said.
Dirk Nowitzki had 15 points and 14 rebounds for Dallas while
Finley scored 16. Nash and Nick Van Exel each had 14, but Seattle
held the Mavericks to 38 percent shooting and well below their
NBA-best 102.6 scoring average.
''They played a matchup zone, and it was effective against us
because we didn't move the ball,'' Mavericks coach Don Nelson said.
''I thought we were prepared to do that, but we just couldn't.''
Drobnjak had an outstanding game, coming off the bench behind
Ansu Sesay, who started for the first time this season.
McMillan made the move after Drobnjak shot 6-for-24 in his
previous three games, including an 0-for-8 effort Friday against
''Peja had a phenomenal night shooting the ball,'' Barry said.
''He has been real frustrated, cursing in Yugoslavian in the last
The game also featured the NBA debut of French shooting guard
Antoine Rigaudeau, who signed a three-year contract Friday and
joined the team for practice in Seattle on Saturday. He played five
scoreless minutes, all in the second period.
Nelson has no timetable for moving Rigaudeau into the
rotation. ''It doesn't help to put any pressure on the guy,''
Nelson said. ... Sonics forward Vladimir Radmanovic remains out
indefinitely with a sprained right ankle. ... Dallas led 66-61
after the third quarter, but fell to 26-4 when leading going into
the final period. ... Nash, who grew up in nearby Victoria, British
Columbia, was cheered during introductions.
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