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Radmanovic drops career-high 29 on Grizzlies

1/26/2003

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- Vladimir Radmanovic enjoyed the biggest game of his career, and he ended any hopes the Memphis Grizzlies had of making a comeback.

Radmanovic scored a career-high 29 points Saturday night,
including three 3-pointers down the stretch, to lead the Seattle
SuperSonics to a 95-83 victory over the Grizzlies.

"They were double-teaming our guards, so that's the reason we were open at the 3-point line,'' Radmanovic said. "When you hit a couple of 3s, you think you can make more, especially when guys are not closing on you. That's what happened. (The Grizzlies) just let me shoot, and that's what I did.''

Radmanovic was 9-of-15 from the field, including 6-of-11 from
3-point range, as Seattle snapped a four-game road losing streak.
The Grizzlies lost for the fifth time in their last six games.

Seattle hit two early baskets in the fourth period to extend its
lead to double digits, and the Grizzlies never got closer than six
the rest of the way. Radmanovic connected on three 3-pointers in
the final 5:33 to seal it. Two of those came after Memphis cut the
lead to 87-81 with 3:20 remaining.

"Vlad was definitely hot,'' SuperSonics coach Nate McMillan
said. "We looked a little confused at times against the zone. We
had to make some big shots, and time after time, (Radmanovic) came
with those big shots.''

Rashard Lewis scored 22 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for the
SuperSonics. Gary Payton had 18 points and six assists.

Radmanovic's performance, combined with Lewis' 9-of-17 shooting
from the floor, made the Grizzlies pay for their plan to make
Seattle beat them from the outside.

"Every time we would catch up, they would hit a shot and push
us further away,'' Grizzlies guard Brevin Knight said. "Our plan
was to give them the outside and they hit the shots.''

Pau Gasol led Memphis with 25 points and 10 rebounds, while
Lorenzen Wright had 14 points and 12 rebounds. Earl Watson added 11
off the bench for the Grizzlies.

Memphis led 51-46 at halftime thanks to a 14-0 run in the second
quarter that erased a 10-point Seattle lead early in the period.
The SuperSonics missed 10 of their first 12 shots in the quarter.

Gasol led the Grizzlies with 17 first-half points, missing only
one of his eight shots from the field.

Payton had 13 for Seattle, and Radmanovic added 10.

Memphis missed its first five shots of the second half while
Seattle went on an 11-0 run. The opening stretch helped the
SuperSonics build a 74-66 lead heading into the final period.

Memphis, which had been playing well at home before its current
three-game home slide, managed only 32 points after halftime.

"For us to score 15 and 17 in the second half in this building
is unheard of,'' coach Hubie Brown said. "We are in the upper
echelon in scoring and in the upper echelon in field goal
percentage. And now, all of a sudden, we go two games and can't
make a shot.''

Game notes
Payton scored the 18,000th point of his career with a layup
in the first quarter. He is the 47th player in NBA history to reach
the milestone, but only the fourth to have 18,000 points and 7,000
assists. John Stockton, Oscar Robertson and Isiah Thomas are the
others. ... Seattle G Brent Barry was scratched from the starting
lineup and did not play because of patella tendinitis. Desmond
Mason started in Barry's place. ... Grizzlies G Wesley Person
missed his third straight game with an injured right index finger.
Stromile Swift also sat out with a sprained right hand. ... Seattle
finished the first half of the season 18-23, the first time the
Sonics have been below .500 at the season's midpoint since 1991-92.
... Seattle leads the all-time series 26-4.