SEATTLE (AP) -- The Seattle SuperSonics won't make the Western
Conference playoffs. Too bad they can't qualify in the East.
"Our team's not going to quit," said Brent Barry, who had 14
points, nine rebounds and six assists. "We want to come out and
force the tempo."
The Hornets trailed by 26 points in the third quarter, but
rallied in garbage time, pulling to 88-80 with 1:57 to play after a
3-pointer by Maurice Carter, two free throws by David West and a
fast-break basket by Shammond Williams.
"We started to make bad decisions with the ball," Sonics coach
Nate McMillan said. "Our shot selection wasn't that good. Just one
play, basically, turned the momentum back to those guys. They were
able to get back into the game."
Allen made a 3-pointer, but New Orleans cut it to 91-84 on a
putback by Robert Traylor and two more free throws from West. But
the surge came too late, and the Sonics made five free throws in
the final 31 seconds to seal the win.
"I don't think we were great," Allen said. "I think,
honestly, we caught them on a bad night."
New Orleans shot only 36 percent and played again without Baron
Davis, out with a sprained left ankle, and Jamal Mashburn, on the
injured list with an inflamed right knee, missed his 14th straight
"We really struggled shooting the ball," Hornets coach Tim
Floyd said. "Magloire picked up two quick fouls and really took
our post game away. We missed him defensively and we missed him
offensively in the first quarter."
The Hornets have lost five of six, and they fell for the third
time on their current five-game Western Conference road trip. They
finish the road swing Tuesday at Sacramento.
New Orleans hasn't secured a playoff trip yet, but the Hornets
should get one despite slipping below .500 at 38-39. They looked
nothing like a playoff team, shooting 19 percent in the first
quarter and struggling from there.
"This up and down play we've had the last two weeks, it's not
the way you want to go into the postseason," said P.J. Brown, who
scored 10 points. "We've got five games to go. We've just got to
try to get better and I think we can."
The Sonics led 28-16 early and they didn't face a serious run
until the final period. Lewis scored eight points in his first
eight minutes, and Seattle used a 15-8 run over the last 5:43 of
the period to pull away.
If there was any justice, the Seattle SuperSonics would be
eligible for a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
"We're not in that situation," McMillan said. "Those guys
have the opportunity to be fighting for home-court advantage in the
East. Our main focus tonight was to win this game, to play a good
Seattle was eliminated from playoff contention with Friday
night's loss to the Lakers.
Magloire had hit 22 straight free throws until missing in
the second quarter. His streak began March 26 against Phoenix. ...
Booth started because Vitaly Potapenko was late for the team's
shootaround. ... Sonics C Jerome James, out with an abdominal
strain, is expected to make the team's Texas road trip this week.
... Seattle swept the season series. The Sonics won 91-80 in New
Orleans on March 19, part of a seven-game winning streak.