SEATTLE (AP) -- Ray Allen knew he'd have to step up for the
SuperSonics when Rashard Lewis was accidentally kneed in the thigh
on a drive to the basket in the first quarter.
Allen scored 31 points and Vladimir Radmanovic had nine of his
18 points in the fourth quarter, leading the Sonics to a 104-99
victory over the Clippers on Tuesday night.
The Clippers beat the Sonics by 30 points in the season opener
Nov. 3 at Staples Center.
Shooting 9-for-20, Allen had his ninth 30-point plus performance
of the season.
"When Rashard was out, you just noticed our energy got sapped a
little bit from the offensive part of the game," Allen said. "We
couldn't score. We couldn't get what we wanted to get."
But Allen, the NBA's seventh-leading scorer, took control and
had five 3-pointers and added seven assists, too.
"When Rashard's not in there, a lot has to be created," Allen
said. "It's not just scoring, though. I have to get other guys
opportunities to score."
Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy called Allen, the Sonics' only
All-Star, one of the top offensive stars in the league.
"He makes plays as they need them," Dunleavy said. "A couple
of the 3-pointers he hit were with guys all over him."
The Sonics, coming off a victory at home against the Miami Heat
and Shaquille O'Neal on Sunday, secured the win in the final 3½
minutes against a Clippers team that lost its second in a row after
three straight wins.
The Sonics outscored the Clippers 11-5 in the final 3:27, with
Radmanovic putting Seattle ahead to stay with two free throws after
being fouled by Brand.
A 3-pointer by Rashard Lewis with 1:16 left gave Seattle a
100-94 lead before Brand made a free throw with 1:06 to go and Rick
Brunson connected on a 16-footer with 40.9 seconds left.
Allen's driving layup with 17 seconds left put the Sonics ahead
The Clippers led 76-74 after three quarters, outscoring the
Sonics 11-3 in the final 2:52 of the period. Brand scored six
points in the outburst on a pair of layups and two free throws.
Lewis, Seattle's No. 2 scorer, did not play in the second
quarter and was limited to 24 minutes and nine points. The Sonics
got five blocked shots from Jerome James and 11 assists from Luke
Lewis said his thigh was extremely sore in the second half, but
he felt he had to play because the Sonics needed him.
"It's just something that you just need to play through," he
said. "When I ran and jumped, it hurt."
Lewis doesn't know if he'll be able to play against the Clippers
Wednesday night in Los Angeles.
"I know it's going to tighten up," he said. "I think it's
going to be a lot more sore in the morning."
Seattle's reserves outscored the Clippers' 49-23. The Sonics
committed a season-low eight turnovers.
"We've got so many guys who are hungry from the bench that are
ready to make an impact on the game," Allen said.
Sonics coach Nate McMillan watched his team improve its record
to 25-8. Seattle is the fourth team to reach 25 wins this season.
The Sonics had only 37 victories and missed the playoffs for the
second straight year last season.
"It was a tough game," McMillan said. "The Clippers they
scrap, we knew they would, the first game was very similar and the
second half we got involved in the scrap."
McMillan won't coach the Sonics on Wednesday night. After
Tuesday night's game, he flew to Raleigh, N.C., for the funeral of
an aunt. Assistant coach Dwane Casey will coach the Sonics in Los
Angeles. ... Sonics forward Reggie Evans was back in the starting
lineup after missing three games with a stomach problem. He was
hospitalized during the weekend. "The test results will be back
this week and then we'll know definitely what it is," Evans said
before the game. In 22 minutes, he led the Sonics with nine