Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 4)

Series starts 11/9

Game 1: Tuesday, November 9th
Game 2: Wednesday, December 22nd
Game 3: Tuesday, January 18th
Game 4: Saturday, April 9th

Nuggets 83

(13-13, 4-8 away)

SuperSonics 98

(19-5, 11-2 home)

    Coverage: ALT

    7:00 PM ET, December 22, 2004

    Key Arena, Seattle, WA

    1 2 3 4 T
    DEN 15 23 31 1483
    SEA 24 29 26 1998

    Top Performers

    Den: A. Miller 20 Pts, 1 Reb, 7 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

    Sea: V. Radmanovic 19 Pts, 9 Reb

    Lewis leads four Sonics in double figs

    SEATTLE (AP) -- Seattle SuperSonics coach Nate McMillan wasn't sure what to expect. With four full days off between games, McMillan was concerned his team might have lost a bit of its edge.

    The coach was happy to see otherwise.

    Rashard Lewis scored 21 points to lead four SuperSonics in double figures, and Seattle beat the Denver Nuggets 98-83 Wednesday night.

    "This was a game I was a little nervous about, in the sense of just not knowing how we would come out," McMillan said. "It's a different type of challenge, mentally, to have so many days off and to prepare and work and see if you can come out and play a solid game.

    "It's been a long four days."

    Seattle hadn't played since a 112-110 loss to Phoenix last Friday. They don't play again until Dec. 27 at Utah.

    There were other obstacles for the SuperSonics to overcome besides time off.

    Seattle was without third-leading scorer Antonio Daniels, out with what the team said was tonsillitis. And leading scorer Ray Allen was battling an upper respiratory infection.

    Allen said he never felt that he could catch his wind, but still played 41 minutes and scored 20 points. Vladimir Radmanovic added 19 off the bench as the SuperSonics improved to 19-5.

    "I felt like I was two steps slow," Allen said. "I was trying to get my second wind and never got it."

    Andre Miller led the Nuggets with 20 points and Kenyon Martin added 18, 16 in the second half. Denver (13-13) lost for the sixth time in seven games and is at .500 for the first time since Nov. 26 when the Nuggets were 6-6.

    Denver played without forward Carmelo Anthony, who missed his third straight game after spraining his left ankle last Friday. The Nuggets' offense struggled, especially in the first half, when they managed just 38 points and turned the ball over 14 times.

    Seattle is 2-0 against its Northwest Division foe, having won 108-88 in Denver on Nov. 9.

    "Give their defense some credit, but give our team some blame," Denver coach Jeff Bzdelik said. "We just weren't strong enough with the basketball."

    Trailing by 15 at halftime, the Nuggets cut the lead to 64-56 on a thunderous putback dunk by Martin with 4:15 left in the third quarter.

    Seattle led by 10 entering the fourth and started the quarter with a 10-2 run to build the advantage to 89-71. Denver didn't get closer than 15 points the rest of the way.

    "I think a lot of us are forcing things, which isn't characteristic of us," Martin said.

    Daniels' play off the bench has been a major factor in Seattle's strong start. He is averaging 12.2 points per game, while backing up point guard Luke Ridnour.

    But Radmanovic and Ronald Murray picked up the scoring slack. Murray added 15 points as the Seattle bench outscored Denver's 43-34.

    Seattle also outrebounded the Nuggets 48-35. Reggie Evans had 12 rebounds and Radmanovic added nine for the SuperSonics.

    "It's wasn't a pretty game," Radmanovic said. "But we scraped, outrebounded this team, played harder than they did and got another one."

    Rodney White added 17 points for Denver.

    Seattle built an 11-point, first-quarter lead, but Denver cut the deficit to 28-25 two minutes into the second quarter. From there, Seattle went on a 18-3 run, and the lead grew to 18.

    The Nuggets went more than six minutes with only one field goal, missed seven shots and turned the ball over four times during the stretch. Denver had 14 turnovers in the first half and trailed 53-38 at the break.

    "It's frustrating playing all these good teams without all our players," Denver's DerMarr Johnson said. "We knew we'd make a run at some point, but we just dug too deep a hole."

    The Nuggets have played eight of their last nine on the road, but have two of their next three at home.

    Game notes

    Anthony didn't make the trip to Seattle, but did some jogging and shooting Wednesday, Bzdelik said. No date has been set for his return. ... Seattle's Danny Fortson played 10 minutes and fouled out with 10:12 left in the fourth quarter. He was also whistled for a technical foul in the first half.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 83 98
    FGM-FGA 33-73 (.452) 37-85 (.435)
    3PM-3PA 3-11 (.273) 7-21 (.333)
    FTM-FTA 14-21 (.667) 17-22 (.773)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 10-35 17-48
    Assists 19 15
    Turnovers 19 15
    Steals 7 11
    Blocks 4 1
    Fast Break Points 8 10
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 21 (3/0) 24 (1/0)
    Largest Lead 0 19

    Top Performers

    Andre Miller Miller
    Points: 20
    Reb: 1
    Ast: 7
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 1
    Vladimir Radmanovic Radmanovic
    Points: 19
    Reb: 9
    Ast: 0
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 0