Regular Season Series (Game 3 of 4)

Series starts 12/17

Game 1: Wednesday, December 17th
Game 2: Saturday, December 20th
Game 3: Friday, March 26th
Game 4: Tuesday, March 30th

Nuggets 86


SuperSonics 102

(34-38, 19-18 home)

    Coverage: FSRM

    7:30 PM ET, March 26, 2004

    Key Arena, Seattle, WA

    1 2 3 4 T
    DEN 25 22 18 2186
    SEA 19 26 29 28102

    Top Performers

    Denver: A. Miller 16 Pts, 10 Reb, 5 Ast, 3 Stl

    Seattle: R. Allen 27 Pts, 3 Reb, 3 Ast, 2 Stl

    Seattle coming into playoff view

    SEATTLE (AP) -- Somehow, the Seattle SuperSonics are still in the playoff hunt.

    After appearing to fall out of the Western Conference postseason picture only two weeks ago, Ray Allen and the Sonics have won seven straight games.

    Allen scored 27 points in the Sonics' 102-86 win Friday night over Denver which pulled Seattle within three games of the Nuggets and Utah Jazz, who are tied for the eighth and final spot in the conference. Tenth-place Portland, which was idle, is only a half-game back.

    "We have a lot of pride in our game right now," said Allen, who shot 10-of-22. "There's going to be a lot of pitfalls during this game. For the most part, we've learned to stick together."

    On March 12, Seattle had six straight games and held a 27-38 record. But the Sonics look like a different team now.

    For the second game in a row, Allen gave the Sonics a big boost in the third quarter by scoring Seattle's first nine points. In Wednesday's win over Utah, he scored 18 of his 26 points in the third quarter.

    His 3-pointer gave the Sonics their first lead, 53-50. Seattle extended the lead to 15 points, 85-70, when Rashard Lewis hit a 21-foot jumper with 7:20 to play. Back-to-back dunks by Ronald Murray increased the lead to 94-76 with 3:45 remaining.

    Murray had 19 points and Vladimir Radmanovic added 17 for Seattle, which has won seven games in a row for the first time since January, 2000.

    "In the second half, we had defensive energy on the floor," said Sonics coach Nate McMillan. "We got stops. Our transition game was going. And we had some guys step up tonight when Brent (Barry) went down."

    Barry left the game with 3:17 to play in the first quarter when he bruised his hip after a collision with Nene. He did not return.

    Denver's Jon Barry said his team has had problems in the third quarter throughout the year.

    "For some reason, we've come out of the half flat a lot of times," he said. "We sure did tonight."

    Denver's road woes continued. The Nuggets have now lost nine of 11 away from home and have an overall road record of 13-24.

    The Nuggets were led by Carmelo Anthony's 21 points, but he certainly didn't play well. Anthony shot only 6-of-21 from the field and was sloppy with the ball, committing seven turnovers. Andre Miller had 16 points, Rodney White scored 11 and Marcus Camby 10.

    The Sonics opened the game making only one of their first 10 shots and two of their first 15, but the Nuggets weren't playing much better. Seattle warmed up from the outside as the quarter progressed. While the Sonics trailed 25-19, Seattle went 5-of-10 from 3-point range in the quarter.

    A 14-foot jumper from Anthony snapped a 41-41 tie with 3:22 to play in the half. It was Anthony's first basket after missing his first eight shots. At the half, Denver led 47-45 and Anthony had only two points.

    The teams will face each other again Tuesday at Denver.< ^Notes@: At halftime, the SuperSonics honored their 1979 team that won the NBA championship. They also retired the No. 1 jersey of Gus Williams, who averaged 20.6 points and 6.0 assists during his six years in Seattle. He joins Lenny Wilkens, Fred Brown, Jack Sikma and Nate McMillan as the only Sonics to have their jerseys retired. Seattle mayor Greg Nickels proclaimed it Gus Williams Day. ... The road team had won five of the last six meetings between Seattle and Denver. ... Camby was back in the Nuggets' starting lineup after missing a game with a strained groin. ... Voshon Lenard of Denver was held out of the lineup because of bruised ribs. ...

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 86 102
    FGM-FGA 33-79 (.418) 41-93 (.441)
    3PM-3PA 4-13 (.308) 9-23 (.391)
    FTM-FTA 16-21 (.762) 11-14 (.786)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 15-42 19-48
    Assists 17 22
    Turnovers 19 14
    Steals 7 9
    Blocks 6 2
    Fast Break Points 7 7
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 17 (1/0) 20 (2/0)

    Top Performers

    Andre Miller Miller
    Points: 16
    Reb: 10
    Ast: 5
    Stl: 3
    Blk: 0
    Ray Allen Allen
    Points: 27
    Reb: 3
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0