Brent Barry, replacing the departed Payton at point guard, had a
career-high 16 assists to go with 16 points as the Seattle
SuperSonics beat the Milwaukee Bucks 88-58 Friday night.
The Bucks' 58 points were a franchise low. Their previous low
was 62 set at Chicago Dec. 5, 1997.
"It was a tough game for everybody involved tonight,'' said
Barry, who last played point guard full-time in high school. "I
was more or less forced to do it tonight.''
Playing their first game since making the five-player trade that
sent Payton to Milwaukee in exchange for Allen, the Sonics had only
eight players available and all of them contributed.
"We still have a lot of players here who are capable of doing a
lot of things,'' Barry said. "Because of the way Gary played, you
know some nights we had to just rely on what Gary was doing.
Tonight we couldn't do that.''
Sonics coach Nate McMillan said Barry, in his eighth NBA season,
is his starting point guard for now.
"I think we probably will have to start off with Brent at the
point until (Kevin) Ollie and Ray get accustomed to our offensive
sets,'' McMillan said. "I think Brent still feels comfortable
playing off the ball, but he is able to run that spot.''
Lewis said it wasn't as easy as it looked for the Sonics.
"It was difficult playing without Gary and Desmond,'' Lewis
said. "But we had to come together as a group because we only had
Milwaukee's point total was the second-lowest total ever for a
"They looked liked a motivated home-court team and we looked
like a team on the road,'' Karl said. "In the first quarter, we
got off to an unbelievably bad start offensively and that's
basically the way it stayed the whole night.''
McMillan also used little-used Joseph Forte, who came to Seattle
in the Vin Baker trade from Boston last July, at point guard on a
night when Payton would have been playing his 1,000th career game
for the franchise if he hadn't been traded.
All five players from Thursday's trade, Payton and Mason for
Milwaukee and Allen, Ollie and Ronald Murray of Seattle, did not
Payton, the gifted nine-time All-Star point guard, attended
Friday's Bucks' shootaround but was not at the game. Allen flew
back to Milwaukee on Friday to complete his physical.
Payton will make his Milwaukee debut in Portland Saturday night,
while Allen will play for Seattle for the first time in Los Angeles
against the Lakers on Sunday night.
Sam Cassell, who will lose his starting point guard job to
Payton, cautioned Bucks' fans not to expect any magic when Payton
joins the team.
"Don't put that pressure on him,'' Cassell said. "He's not
gonna save us.''
Some Seattle fans showed up wearing Payton's No. 20 Sonics'
jersey, while other fans held up pictures of Payton's face on
sticks. "Seattle Missing GP, Mason,'' one sign said. "We'll
Always Love The Glove,'' said another. "GP: Take Us With You,''
Barry hit six of eight shots. His previous high for assists in a
regular-season game was 11.
The Bucks shot 5-for-16 in the third quarter when the Sonics
built their lead to 25 points at 71-46 after Forte, playing in only
his 11th game of the season, scrambled on the floor and came up
with a steal. The play ended with a fastbreak dunk by Lewis with
58.4 seconds left in the period.
Mason got a standing ovation from the fans when he came
onto the court and sat on the Bucks' bench before the game. He got
a rousing cheer when he was introduced to the crowd. Evans, his
former Sonics teammate, came over and embraced Mason just before
the game began. Mason got a huge ovation when he left the court,
too. ... The fans cheered when video highlights of Payton's career
were shown on the Key Arena's scoreboard. ... New Sonics center
Elden Campbell arrived from New Orleans and sat on the Seattle
bench. He was acquired Thursday in a trade for backup point guard
Kenny Anderson. ... Sonics owner Howard Schultz and team president
Wally Walker were not in their usual courtside seats.