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Sonics not quite out, T-Wolves fail to gain on Blazers

SEATTLE (AP) -- Ray Allen and the Seattle SuperSonics are doing
everything they can in a desperate bid to make the playoffs.

Allen scored 33 points on 10-of-18 shooting and Rashard Lewis
added 19 points as Seattle stubbornly stayed alive for a playoff
berth with a 100-92 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on
Wednesday night.

"Nothing to leave on the court, even if you're tired,'' Allen
said. "We'll have plenty of rest this summer.''

Vladimir Radmanovic scored 12 points and Kevin Ollie added 10 as
the Sonics remained three games behind the Phoenix Suns for the
eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

"They have that spot and it's up to them to lose it,'' Seattle
coach Nate McMillan said.

Kevin Garnett had 29 points and 18 rebounds and Wally Szczerbiak
added 26 points, but Minnesota, jockeying with Portland for playoff
positioning, failed to capitalize on San Antonio's 84-79 defeat of
the Trail Blazers.

"We've got to win games like this,'': Szczerbiak said. "You've
got to give Seattle credit. They played hard, but we made a lot of
mental mistakes.''

The Timberwolves, averaging 13 turnovers a game, committed nine
of their 18 giveaways in the fourth quarter, leading to 33 points
for the Sonics.

"Part of our ability to have success is our ability to not beat
ourselves,'' Minnesota coach Flip Saunders said. "When you give up
33 points on turnovers -- 18 turnovers -- that means they're scoring
almost every time you turn it over. We beat ourselves.''

Minnesota is 4-24 in Seattle, losing in eight of the last nine
visits.

"They're a pretty good team, and any time you play on a good
team's home court, it's never easy,'' Szczerbiak said. "And they
played really well tonight.''

The Sonics closed with a 6-2 burst after Minnesota pulled to
92-90 when Garnett swished a 3-pointer from the top of the arc with
1:03 to play. Seattle hit 6-of-8 free throws in the final 55.6
seconds to seal the win.

"Prime-time players perform in pressure situations,'' Allen
said. "That's what we have to develop. This team has guys who can
do more than make shots.''

The Sonics face long odds to reach the postseason. They open a
three-game Texas road trip Friday night in San Antonio, then stop
in Houston and Dallas before closing the regular season at home
against Phoenix.

"We definitely need a sweep,'' McMillan said. "Anything can
happen.''

Troy Hudson scored 13 points and Rasho Nesterovic had 11 for
Minnesota. But Hudson blamed himself for the loss after committing
four of his eight turnovers in the final period.

"It was just no confidence, especially on my part,'' Hudson
said. "I'd catch the ball and just throw it instead of just
breaking my man down and keep the ball in my hands. That's
definitely the reason we lost.''

McMillan said before tipoff he didn't want to play from behind
against the composed Timberwolves, and the Sonics kept things
manageable by closing a 68-61 deficit with a 7-3 burst to end the
third quarter.

Minnesota extended it with jumpers by Szczerbiak and Garnett
before the Sonics rallied. Allen made two free throws and a
3-pointer and Radmanovic's jumper put Seattle ahead 78-76 with 7:31
to go.

Game notes
Allen went to the dressing room late in the first quarter
with a strained hamstring but returned to the bench two minutes
into the second period. ... Minnesota G Rod Strickland, out 32 of
the last 33 games with a strained groin, could be activated from
the injured list for Friday's home game against the L.A. Clippers.
... Seattle, which lost 107-85 in Sacramento on Tuesday night, is
15-23 in back-to-back sets, including 6-13 in the first game and
9-10 in the second. ... Wolves G Anthony Peeler was whistled for a
technical foul by referee Bennett Salvatore for protesting a call
late in the first half.

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