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Allen's triple-double send Sonics past Lakers

3/1/2003

SEATTLE (AP) -- Ray Allen has a chip on his shoulder. He's still
trying to prove he's more than just a shooter.

"I've taken so much criticism coming out of college,'' Allen said after getting his second career triple-double as the Seattle SuperSonics snapped the Los Angeles Lakers' six-game winning streak with a 107-90 victory Friday night.

"People try to say what you do and who you are,'' said Allen, a three-time All-Star who played at Connecticut. "I can just shoot the ball and I can just score. Having a triple-double is saying that you're doing everything.''

The Sonics won their fifth game in a row at home and improved to 4-1 since acquiring Allen last week in a big trade that saw Gary Payton sent to the Milwaukee Bucks. The Lakers had won 13 of their last 15 coming in.

The Sonics' only loss since the trade came to the Lakers in Los Angeles last Sunday night.

"Every night I like to rebound the ball and I like to pass the ball,'' said Allen, who, at 27, is seven years younger than Payton. "The stats prove it.''

Asked what he thought Milwaukee coach George Karl, who was critical of Allen's defense, would say when he saw Allen's line in the box score, Allen smiled and said:

"George is going to say. ... 'He's rebounding the basketball?'''

Kobe Bryant scored 34 points on 10-for-27 shooting and Shaquille O'Neal had 18 points and 11 rebounds for the Lakers, who looked tired after beating Detroit in Los Angeles on Thursday night.

Bryant said he thought he had the flu.

"I feel terrible,'' Bryant said. "I think I've been going non-stop since before the All-Star break and it's just caught up with me. I've got aches and chills.''

Allen was particularly motivated to be matched against Bryant, generally regarded one of the best players, if not the best, in the NBA.

"So much is said about what Kobe Bryant is and what Kobe Bryant does,'' Allen said. "I don't know if a lot of people know it, but I was drafted No. 5 and he was drafted like No. 8 (actually 13th in 1996). Not that means anything. But I think I've always ranked right there along with what Kobe has done.''

The Lakers were missing their head coach, Phil Jackson, for the third game in a row. Jackson hasn't completely recovered from having a kidney stone removed Monday. Assistant Jim Cleamons coached the Lakers in Jackson's absence.

Predrag Drobnjak and Vladimir Radmanovic each scored 18 points for Seattle, which outrebounded the Lakers 57-33.

"We just didn't box out,'' O'Neal said. "That's unacceptable.''

The Sonics broke the game open in the third quarter, and took an
83-61 lead into the fourth. After Brent Barry made a 3-pointer and
Drobnak hit a 16-footer, the Sonics led 67-51 with 7:38 left in the
period.

The Lakers cut their deficit to 67-57 before the Sonics reeled off three baskets in a row, with Drobnak capping the run with a fast-break dunk.

Radmanovic hit a 27-footer as time expired in the first half to give Seattle a 56-45 lead.

Radmanovic scored 11 points on 5-for-6 shooting in the second
quarter, but it was the physical play between Bryant and Allen that
highlighted the period. Bryant drew two fouls from Allen in a
36-second span and forced Allen out of the game late in the first
half.

The Lakers got a pair of 3-pointers, from Derek Fisher and Bryant, and a fast-break 15-footer from Fisher in the final 2:16 of the opening quarter for a 29-23 lead. O'Neal drew boos from the crowd when he knocked down Barry and then yelled at him because he thought Barry had flopped.

Seattle coach Nate McMillan wouldn't admit he's surprised by the Sonics' play without Payton.

"I think we're just playing ball,'' he said. "We're trying to
figure out who we are and what we can do.''

Game notes
Allen's first career triple-double was for Milwaukee against Boston on Feb. 7, 2001; 20 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds. ... Bryant, 24, is closing in on becoming the youngest player to score 10,000 career points with 9,986. He'll be 25 Aug. 23. ... McMillan said he still has not heard from Payton. McMillan called Payton after his trade to Milwaukee. "I'm moving forward,'' said McMillan, who was Payton's teammate and assistant coach before becoming his head coach. Asked if he thought Payton was bitter toward him, McMillan raised his arms in the air as if to say he didn't know. ... The Lakers are now off until Wednesday night, when they play Indiana in Los Angeles. Cleamons said he expects Jackson to be back when the team returns to practice Monday and to coach against the Pacers.