Seattle wins series 4-1 (Game 4 of 5)

Seattle wins series 4-1

Game 1: Saturday, April 23rd
Game 2: Tuesday, April 26th
Game 3: Friday, April 29th
Game 4: Sunday, May 1st
Game 5: Tuesday, May 3rd

SuperSonics 115

(52-30, 26-15 away)

Kings 102

(50-32, 30-11 home)

Coverage: KXTV

7:30 PM ET, May 1, 2005

Sleep Train Arena, Sacramento, CA

1 2 3 4 T
SEA 20 36 24 35115
SAC 31 37 16 18102

Top Performers

Seattle: R. Allen 45 Pts, 4 Reb, 6 Ast, 4 Stl, 2 Blk

Sacramento: P. Stojakovic 27 Pts, 4 Reb, 1 Ast, 3 Stl

Allen scores 45 points; Sonics can clich at home

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- The Seattle SuperSonics put the game on Ray Allen's narrow shoulders, and the wiry shooting guard carried them to the brink of the second round.

Allen scored a playoff career-high 45 points, hitting six 3-pointers in the Sonics' 115-102 victory over the Sacramento Kings in Game 4 on Sunday night, sending Seattle home with a chance to finish the best-of-seven series.

Rashard Lewis scored 19 points and Jerome James added 17 for Seattle -- but Allen, his calm expression rarely changing, was relentlessly spectacular in front of the Kings' deafening home crowd. He scored 10 points in the first 3½ minutes of the fourth quarter, when the Sonics reclaimed the lead for the first time since the opening minutes.

And when the cold-shooting Kings got within 104-98 in the final 90 seconds, Allen finished them with a shot-block-beating 3-pointer from the right wing with 1:02 to play. He later added two more points to the highest-scoring performance in the playoffs this season.

"He takes some tough shots, but he's very capable of making those shots," Seattle coach Nate McMillan said. "When he's feeling it like that, sometimes you have to let him go. He knew he had the hot hand. He wasn't going to let the team lose tonight. He knocked down some unbelievable shots."

Peja Stojakovic scored 21 of his 27 points in the first half for the Kings, who haven't lost a first-round series since 2000. Their dramatic roster shuffling during the season, which included the departures of playoff stalwarts Chris Webber and Doug Christie, might have doomed that streak, unless the Kings can string together three improbable wins.

Game 5 is Tuesday night in Seattle, with Game 6 back in Sacramento on Friday night, if necessary.

Allen, the Sonics' leading scorer in all four games of the series, was relentless in the second half, running around multiple screens for one smooth jumper after another. Sometimes he didn't even wait for screens, simply shooting from a good distance behind the 3-point line.

His fifth 3-pointer gave Seattle its first lead since the first quarter, 90-88 with 9:19 to play. With his final 3, he surpassed his previous playoff high of 41 points, set with the Milwaukee Bucks in the 2001 Eastern Conference finals against Philadelphia.

Mike Bibby, who scored 31 points in Sacramento's 116-104 victory in Game 3, reverted to his miserable form from Game 1. The Kings' playoff leader scored 13 points on 4-of-17 shooting, missing every type of shot -- including three free throws and his six field-goal attempts in the fourth quarter.

Seattle took control with an 18-3 run in the fourth quarter, finally capitalizing on the Kings' 10-for-36 shooting in the second half.

Sacramento had 68 points and a 12-point lead at halftime, but struggled even to execute plays after that. Stojakovic, who had 21 points at halftime, and Bibby both failed to take charge of the Kings' offense -- and Allen nimbly escaped every defensive strategy against him.

Both clubs were concerned about subpar production in the series from Stojakovic and Lewis, their respective star forwards who struggled with injuries late in the regular season.

Though Stojakovic claimed he wouldn't change much for Game 4, his determination was obvious in the first quarter. Calling for the ball and moving aggressively around screens, he scored 11 points and capped the quarter with a steal and a jumper as time expired -- but that determination gradually faded in the final three quarters.

Lewis missed a layup on the Sonics' opening possession, but kept going to the hoop regularly. Though he had another dismal shooting game, going 4-of-12, he made 11 of 12 free throws.

Sacramento made a 26-6 run in the first half, taking a 19-point lead early in the second quarter -- but led by Allen, the Sonics responded with a 17-2 run in less than three minutes.

Bibby's 3-pointer shortly before the halftime buzzer boosted the Kings' lead to 68-56 despite Seattle's 57-percent shooting.

Game notes

After wearing green road uniforms in Game 3, Seattle switched to its yellow alternate jerseys. ... Randy Moss, the Oakland Raiders' new star receiver, watched the game at courtside with several of his teammates, including Warren Sapp, Jerry Porter and Zack Crockett. The Kings' public address announcer got Porter's first name wrong twice, however. ... Seattle F Danny Fortson, who had five fouls in eight minutes in Game 3, did exactly the same Sunday. He didn't get a technical foul, which would have been his third of the series.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 115 102
FGM-FGA 39-73 (.534) 37-88 (.420)
3PM-3PA 9-25 (.360) 6-21 (.286)
FTM-FTA 28-30 (.933) 22-30 (.733)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 7-37 16-39
Assists 23 15
Turnovers 16 13
Steals 6 10
Blocks 7 3
Fast Break Points 14 7
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 24 (0/0) 26 (0/0)
Largest Lead 15 19

Top Performers

Ray Allen Allen
Points: 45
Reb: 4
Ast: 6
Stl: 4
Blk: 2
Peja Stojakovic Stojakovic
Points: 27
Reb: 4
Ast: 1
Stl: 3
Blk: 0