SEATTLE (AP) -- When the Indiana Pacers stopped Seattle's
transition game, the SuperSonics showed their ability and
efficiency running a half-court offense.
Ray Allen scored 25 points and was one of four SuperSonics in
double figures as Seattle won its third straight game, 107-102 over
Indiana on Sunday night.
"Our execution has come in a lot better this year. We're
learning to score in more ways," Seattle coach Bob Weiss said.
For the second straight game, Seattle's subs provided a needed
lift. Allen and Rashard Lewis managed just two points for the first
10 minutes of the fourth quarter, but backup guard Ronald Murray
picked up the slack, scoring eight of his 18 in the fourth.
Murray again provided scoring and energy in a reserve role.
After scoring a season-high 24 on Friday against Cleveland, Murray
scored 14 points in the second half, and Seattle's reserves
outscored Indiana 36-13.
"It's made the biggest difference. There's not a lot of teams
in the NBA that can come with guys off their bench that can produce
on both ends of the floor," Allen said. "That's definitely been
the difference in this team when we win and when we lose."
Ron Artest tied his season-high with 30 points and Jermaine
O'Neal added 22 for the Pacers, who looked lethargic at times as
they wrapped up a five-game, eight-day road trip. Afterward, Artest
said the long road trip had no effect on Indiana's performance.
"Our energy wasn't what theirs was and that had a lot to do
with it," Indiana coach Rick Carlisle said.
The SuperSonics picked up a second straight win over a Central
Division opponent. They beat Cleveland 115-108 on Friday. In that
game, Seattle's subs outscored the Cavaliers' 51-30.
"We're just trying help the starters continue what they were
doing," Murray said. "We're just trying to bring a whole lot
energy, and keep the rhythm going and the pace going."
The Sonics appeared to put the tiring Pacers away with a quick
burst at the start of the fourth quarter. Seattle went ahead 90-77
with 8:58 left on an ally-oop from Lewis to Vladimir Radmanovic,
forcing Carlisle to call timeout.
Seattle extended its lead to 16 before the Pacers made a final
Steven Jackson scored, and Artest followed with a 3-pointer and
fastbreak layup to get Indiana within 98-89 with 3:48 left.
Artest made two free throws with 1:33 left and the Pacers were
within 100-93. Allen made his second basket of the quarter with
1:12 left. Artest answered, but missed a 3-pointer with 35 seconds.
Lewis shot 4-for-5 from the line in the final minute to help
seal the win for the Sonics. Seattle outscored Indiana 26-13 at the
Artest was defended by a host of Sonics, mostly power forward
Reggie Evans, reserve Damien Wilkins and occasionally Lewis. He
tied a season-high with 11 field goals, and noticed that Seattle
did not give Lewis the defensive assignment.
"For some reason, he didn't seem to want to guard me," Artest
said. "But, whatever, they're a good team."
Lewis finished with 23 points on 6-for-17 shooting, the sixth
straight game in which the 6-foot-10 forward scored at least 20
Sarunas Jasikevicius added 16 points and nine assists in his
second start for the Pacers, and Jackson finished with 15. The
Pacers shot 53 percent, but were outrebounded 37-28.
Instead of trying to run the fatigued Pacers out of the
building, Seattle was content not to push the tempo in the first
half. The SuperSonics had just two fastbreak points in the half and
finished with 11 in the game.
"It was headed ... toward being a game in the 80s," Carlisle
said. "I felt we had a good chance to win, and then they caught a
Seattle led 49-46 at halftime and picked up the tempo early in
the third quarter, starting the half on a 12-2 run to take a 61-48
Indiana wrapped up its longest road-trip of the season 3-2,
falling in Phoenix and picking up wins over the Clippers, Utah and
The Pacers played without starters Jamaal Tinsley (groin)
and Austin Croshere (abdominal). ... Indiana had been 2-0 on
Sunday's this season. ... Seattle F Danny Fortson tied a
season-high with nine points before fouling out in the fourth