Regular Season Series (Game 4 of 4)

Series starts 12/1

Game 1: Wednesday, December 1st
Game 2: Monday, December 27th
Game 3: Sunday, January 23rd
Game 4: Wednesday, January 26th

SuperSonics 100

(29-12, 13-7 away)

Jazz 109

(15-28, 9-11 home)

    Coverage: FSRM

    7:00 PM ET, January 26, 2005

    EnergySolutions Arena, Salt Lake City, UT

    1 2 3 4 T
    SEA 18 33 26 23100
    UTAH 22 25 32 30109

    Top Performers

    Sea: A. Daniels 25 Pts, 3 Ast

    UTAH: R. Lopez 20 Pts, 5 Reb, 11 Ast, 3 Stl

    Carlos who? Lopez steps up with 20 points, 11 assists

    SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- The Utah Jazz may have found a point guard they'll stick with.

    The job that has bounced between three players all season came back to Raul Lopez, who did everything he could Wednesday night to make sure he hangs onto it in a 109-100 win over the Seattle SuperSonics.

    Lopez had a career-high 11 assists and matched his best scoring total with 20 points.

    "We don't have to think about who scored more points. We won the game and that's what matters," said Lopez, who was making his sixth start of the season. "We have a lot of games where people scored a lot of points and we lost."

    Lopez and Howard Eisley are Utah's only two active point guards, less than a week after having four on the roster. Carlos Arroyo, the starter last season, was traded to Detroit last week and Keith McLeod was placed on the injured list Wednesday because of a strained hamstring.

    Lopez looked like he's been starting all along, although he had plenty of help as seven Utah players scored in double figures.

    "I thought he had a good game and I thought he played really well," Utah coach Jerry Sloan said. "He seemed to play with a lot more confidence than what he's played with."

    Andrei Kirilenko scored 12 points and had five blocks in his third game back after missing 26 with a knee injury, and Utah escaped the season series against Seattle with a 1-3 record.

    Matt Harpring scored 17, Carlos Boozer had 14 points and seven rebounds and Gordan Giricek scored 10 for the Jazz. Raja Bell scored 18 and Mehmet Okur scored nine of his 17 points in the fourth quarter and combined with Kirilenko and Lopez to put away the Sonics down the stretch.

    "Six minutes before the end and we were up nine points. I still think we need a couple more finishes to win the whole game," Kirilenko said. "We did it and we finally won the game."

    The Sonics beat the Jazz in Seattle on Sunday night, but were coming off a late-night 104-93 victory over the Lakers in Los Angeles on Tuesday.

    Ray Allen led Seattle with 27 points and Antonio Daniels added 25 points off the bench.

    Lopez ran the offense from beginning to end and topped his career high for assists by one. He also ended any hopes of the Sonics coming back with a one-handed runner as the shot clock was about to expire to put Utah ahead 102-91 with 2:50 remaining.

    "He threw up one going to the basket with his eyes closed. And when you're making shots like that, it's their night," Sonics coach Nate McMillan said.

    Kirilenko appeared healthy, especially at the end when he swatted a shot away by Danny Fortson to help keep Utah's 17-6 run alive early in the fourth quarter. Kirilenko added to Seattle's frustration with a layup that went hard off the backboard but bounced in -- as nearly everything did down the stretch for the Jazz.

    "He's freaky sometimes with some of the stuff he can do. We're excited to have him back," Bell said. "Against a team that plays that well, sometimes you've got to get the lucky bounce and that's something that we weren't necessarily getting early in the season."

    The Sonics haven't swept the Jazz since the 1982-83 season, back when they played five times a season. Seattle hadn't won a season series against Utah since 1995-96 and was trying to punctuate it with a sweep.

    But the Sonics had little left after leading 51-47 at halftime.

    Allen and Luke Ridnour, who finished with 17 points, were the only Sonics to score in the third quarter until Rashard Lewis hit a 3-pointer with 5:30 remaining. Lewis finished with 15 points, but had only three points as the Sonics faded in the fourth quarter.

    "Offensively we were so-so. We weren't good. We were average tonight," Allen said. "They were sitting home rested. They played well."

    Game notes

    Seattle's Reggie Evans had five rebounds in the first quarter, but pulled down just two more the rest of the game. ... Okur was called for an offensive foul early in the fourth quarter when he stuck his hips back and Ridnour ran straight into him, falling flat on his back.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 100 109
    FGM-FGA 32-77 (.416) 38-76 (.500)
    3PM-3PA 10-29 (.345) 6-13 (.462)
    FTM-FTA 26-29 (.897) 27-31 (.871)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 11-32 14-38
    Assists 13 26
    Turnovers 17 15
    Steals 6 8
    Blocks 6 7
    Fast Break Points 9 6
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 29 (0/0) 27 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 8 13

    Top Performers

    Antonio Daniels Daniels
    Points: 25
    Reb: 0
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 0
    Raul Lopez Lopez
    Points: 20
    Reb: 5
    Ast: 11
    Stl: 3
    Blk: 0