Final

Regular Season Series (Game 3 of 4)

Series starts 11/29

Game 1: Saturday, November 29th
Rockets88Final
SuperSonics95
Game 2: Monday, December 29th
SuperSonics87Final
Rockets86
Game 3: Sunday, February 29th
SuperSonics97Final
Rockets80
Game 4: Monday, April 12th
Rockets111Final
SuperSonics107

SuperSonics 97

(27-32, 11-16 away)

Rockets 80

 

    3:00 PM ET, February 29, 2004

    Toyota Center, Houston, TX

    1 2 3 4 T
    SEA 18 23 27 2997
    HOU 17 18 22 2380

    Top Performers

    Seattle: V. Radmanovic 19 Pts, 11 Reb, 2 Ast

    Houston: K. Cato 11 Pts, 11 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Stl

    Sonics beat Rockets for third time this season

    HOUSTON (AP) -- The Seattle SuperSonics blew an 11-point lead in the fourth quarter and still ran away from the Houston Rockets.

    Rashard Lewis scored 12 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter to lead the charge, as the SuperSonics snapped a three-game losing streak with a 97-80 victory Sunday.

    Trailing 68-57 at the start the fourth quarter, Houston rallied and tied it at 71-all with 5:30 to remaining when Mark Jackson made a driving layup. Lewis then put Seattle ahead for good with two free throws on a flagrant foul by Maurice Taylor with 5:14 to play.

    "That's the one that got me upset," Lewis said of Taylor's foul under the basket.

    Lewis' free throws started a 12-0 run that carried the Sonics. Lewis also had a three-point play and a 3-pointer in the final three minutes after struggling with his shot early in the game.

    "The shot wasn't falling," Lewis said. "In the fourth quarter, coach always talks about finishing games. That's what we did tonight. We got a little more aggressive."

    The Sonics beat the Rockets for the third time this season and snapped their five-game home winning streak. Houston has won eight of 12.

    "If that's what it took to fire them up, fine," said Taylor, who argued against the flagrant call. "We've just got to do better against all these teams. We've got to shooter better and pass better."

    Steve Francis led Houston with 15 points, and Jim Jackson and Yao Ming each added 14.

    Seattle weathered a fast start by the Rockets and held a 41-35 lead at the break. The Sonics benefited from two early fouls on Yao and Houston's poor shooting in the second quarter. The Rockets shot 5-for-18 in the second period.

    "I liked the flow of the game, the intensity, the focus," Sonics coach Nate McMillian said. "Offensively, the ball movement was great. We wanted to try to get Yao off the low block. The weakside defense was really good."

    Houston got within three points twice in the third quarter, the last time at 52-49 with 5:49 remaining. Seattle responded with a 9-0 outburst on two baskets by Vitaly Potapenko, two free throws by Rashard Lewis and a 3-pointer by Ray Allen.

    "It seemed like we hadn't won in a long time and it was a good win," Allen said. "You can't just expect to win, you have to make it happen. It was business as usual. You play simple basketball and make the right decisions.

    "We took what they gave us."

    Seattle led 18-17 at the end of the first quarter.

    Yao drew his second foul with 5:56 left in the opening quarter and was on the bench until midway through the second. While Yao was out, Seattle charged into the lead.

    "You know, the ball's not going in the basket," Rockets coach Jeff Van Gundy said. "We just got to stick with it, play through it, and that's really our basic challenge right now." ^Notes:@ The Rockets are 27-6 when leading after the first quarter and 6-18 when trailing. ... Seattle beat the Rockets 95-88 and 87-86 in the teams' first two games this season. ... The Rockets have had the same starting lineup 56 of their 59 games this season, the most since 1993-94, when they won the first of two straight NBA titles. ... The Sonics are 5-11 since Brent Barry was sidelined with a fractured bone in his right hand.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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    Team Stat Comparison

     
    SEA
    HOU
    Points 97 80
    FGM-FGA 34-71 (.479) 25-73 (.342)
    3PM-3PA 8-15 (.533) 6-26 (.231)
    FTM-FTA 21-25 (.840) 24-29 (.828)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 9-42 11-40
    Assists 27 14
    Turnovers 13 11
    Steals 1 7
    Blocks 2 5
    Fast Break Points 4 2
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 22 (2/1) 26 (0/1)

    Top Performers

    Seattle
    Houston
    Vladimir Radmanovic Radmanovic
    Points: 19
    Reb: 11
    Ast: 2
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 0
    Kelvin Cato Cato
    Points: 11
    Reb: 11
    Ast: 1
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 0