Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 2)

Series starts 12/10

Game 1: Wednesday, December 10th
Game 2: Sunday, February 22nd

Celtics 87

(23-35, 12-18 away)

SuperSonics 108


    6:00 PM ET, February 22, 2004

    Key Arena, Seattle, WA

    1 2 3 4 T
    BOS 25 16 26 2087
    SEA 27 24 25 32108

    Top Performers

    Bos: P. Pierce 34 Pts, 7 Reb, 6 Ast, 1 Blk

    Sea: R. Allen 20 Pts, 7 Reb, 10 Ast, 2 Stl

    Celtics notch sixth consecutive defeat

    SEATTLE (AP) -- As bad as the Seattle SuperSonics have been playing, the Boston Celtics have been worse.

    Rashard Lewis scored 28 points, hitting six 3-pointers, and the Sonics won for the first time since the All-Star break by beating Boston 108-87 Sunday night, the Celtics' sixth consecutive loss.

    Seattle had dropped nine of its previous 11 games.

    "My concern was about us tonight," Sonics coach Nate McMillan said. "We knew this team was a team that had struggled, but they've still got some good players over there. (Paul) Pierce is an All-Star."

    The perimeter-shooting Sonics connected on 18 of 33 3-point attempts, one shy of the NBA record for 3-pointers in a game set by the Atlanta Hawks Dec. 17, 1996, at Dallas. The Dallas Mavericks have made 18 3-pointers in three games, most recently in a game at Atlanta on Jan. 15, 2002.

    The Celtics dropped to 1-11 under interim coach John Carroll. He was an assistant under Jim O'Brien, who resigned Jan. 27 when the team was 22-24 and in second place in the Atlantic Division.

    Pierce, the NBA's seventh-leading scorer, tried to keep Boston in the game with 34 points on 9-for-20 shooting. It wasn't enough to prevent yet another loss.

    "It wears on you mentally," Pierce said. "We've got to be able to build some character and find out who we are in these last 20 games."

    Boston is returning home after going 0-4 on a West Coast road trip.

    "It's going to be nice to sleep in your own bed and to play on our own court," Pierce said. "We're happy to be going home."

    Ray Allen had 20 points and 10 assists for Seattle, which ended a three-game losing streak against the Celtics.

    Lewis, who scored a career-best 50 points against the Los Angeles Clippers in Japan in his team's second game of the season, was 11-for-20 from the field, including 6-for-11 from behind the arc. He fouled out and scored only 12 points Saturday night in a two-point loss at Golden State.

    "I know I'm important to this team," he said. "I've just got to keep myself in the ballgame. I can't be sitting on the bench."

    The Celtics, who fell behind early in a 21-point loss to Portland on Saturday, stayed in this game until the fourth quarter. Then the Sonics pulled away behind eight 3-pointers and rookie Luke Ridnour's 13 points.

    "I felt we controlled (Seattle's 3-point shooting) for a large part of the game, but in the fourth quarter it obviously got out of hand," Carroll said.

    Pierce kept the Celtics close with 11 points in the third quarter, when the Sonics led 68-55 with four minutes left in the period after a dunk by Vladimir Radmanovich. The Sonics took a 76-67 lead on Ridnour's fast-break basket as time expired in the quarter.

    Jerome James had 13 points, including four dunks, in the second quarter as Seattle pulled ahead for a 51-41 lead. The Key Arena crowd cheered wildly when Ridnour stole the ball in the Celtics' backcourt and passed to Lewis for a dunk with 1:24 left in the first half.

    Lewis scored 13 points as the Sonics grabbed a 27-25 lead after the opening period. After Pierce hit a 3-point shot with 1:30 gone, the Celtics led until Radmanovich sank a 3-pointer with 2:24 left in the quarter.

    Game notes

    F Nick Collison was back on the Sonics' bench for the game. The rookie from Kansas had surgery on his right shoulder Feb. 13 in New York. He had surgery on his left shoulder after he partially dislocated it in a Sonics' practice Oct. 14. Doctors recommended he have surgery on his right shoulder, too. Collison won't be able to play until next season. He was the 12th pick in the 2003 NBA draft. Before the game, McMillan said Collison still has to prove himself in the NBA. "He will come in next season really as a rookie to see who he is," McMillan said. The Sonics still hope he can give them a low-post offensive presence that they're lacking. "We drafted him for that," McMillan said.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 87 108
    FGM-FGA 34-71 (.479) 42-92 (.457)
    3PM-3PA 4-13 (.308) 18-33 (.545)
    FTM-FTA 15-21 (.714) 6-10 (.600)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 8-34 15-39
    Assists 22 35
    Turnovers 14 11
    Steals 5 9
    Blocks 3 1
    Fast Break Points 3 3
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 17 (1/0) 16 (3/0)

    Top Performers

    Paul Pierce Pierce
    Points: 34
    Reb: 7
    Ast: 6
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 1
    Ray Allen Allen
    Points: 20
    Reb: 7
    Ast: 10
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0