Lewis scored 24 points and hit a key jumper with 46 seconds
left, and Allen had 26 points in the SuperSonics' 88-85 victory
over the Golden State Warriors on Friday night.
The Sonics' top two scorers did most of the work in another
uneven effort by a club struggling for consistency after its
tremendous start. With their third win in four games, the Sonics
improved to 8-6 in January after losing just six games in the first
two months of the season.
This one could have been trouble as well, because Golden State
had several chances to tie or go ahead in the final minutes. But
Allen and Lewis both hit big shots down the stretch to help Seattle
snap a three-game losing streak at Golden State.
"In the last couple of possessions, we did what it took to
win," said Allen, who hit four 3-pointers. "Knowing how to win
those games down the stretch is going to help us in the end. This
team is slowly starting to round itself out and go to the next
Seattle scored the first 16 points of the game, but lost the
lead in the third quarter in a flurry of bad passes and missed
shots. The Sonics' vaunted bench players struggled, going 4-for-23
with just 18 points, and Seattle managed just 11 assists.
"We just have to remember what got us to this point: scrapping,
defense, unselfish play and ball movement," coach Nate McMillan
said. "We have to get back to that point. I know we have some guys
that are tired, and bodies are aching, but the (All-Star) break is
a few weeks away, and we have to finish this thing out strong."
Calbert Cheaney scored 14 of his season-high 21 points in the
second quarter for the Warriors, who lost for the 13th time in 14
games despite several chances to steal one from the first-place
Jason Richardson scored 20 points but couldn't get open for a
3-pointer on the Warriors' final possession, and Derek Fisher badly
missed the potential tying shot to complete his 2-of-11 shooting
"We can live with this kind of effort," Golden State coach
Mike Montgomery said. "I thought everybody was really working hard
to make plays, and that's a huge step. We played with heart ...
(but) it just came down to a couple of shots."
After Allen hit a 3-pointer with 4:20 left to give Seattle a
10-point lead, Golden State made an 11-2 run. Cheaney missed a
potential tying free throw before Lewis hit his baseline jumper
with 46 seconds to go.
The Sonics might think they slumped in January until they
compare themselves to the Warriors, who lost nine straight after
New Year's Day. Still, Montgomery's cautious optimism was echoed by
his players just two days after Richardson ripped his teammates for
a lack of passion in a blowout loss to New Jersey.
"A loss is a loss, don't get me wrong, but I thought we showed
a lot of competitive spirit," Cheaney said. "We showed a lot of
character coming back and getting right back at it. Seattle scores
a lot of points in bunches, but at the same time, they also miss a
lot of shots in bunches."
The Warriors appeared headed for another flop in the opening
minutes, missing their first 12 shots while Seattle went up 16-0
with 5:42 left in the first quarter. But they made seven of their
next eight shots, and Cheaney's second-quarter burst kept them in
Golden State starters Speedy Claxton (bruised thigh) and Cliff
Robinson (back) sat out for the fourth straight game. Robinson has
missed four straight games only three times in his 16 NBA seasons.
Ridnour briefly went to the locker room late in the second
quarter. ... Evans didn't score, and his teammates didn't care.
"I'll tell Reggie 'til I'm blue in the face: 17 rebounds is going
to get you a lot of money," Allen said. "Let us worry about the
scoring." ... Despite losing in their previous three trips to
Oakland, the Sonics have won 17 of their last 22 at Golden State.
... Fisher had nine assists.
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