Regular Season Series (Game 4 of 4)

Series starts 11/4

Game 1: Friday, November 4th
Game 2: Wednesday, December 28th
Game 3: Wednesday, February 15th
Game 4: Friday, March 10th

Timberwolves 96

(26-35, 8-21 away)

SuperSonics 107

(24-38, 15-16 home)

    7:30 PM ET, March 10, 2006

    Key Arena, Seattle, WA

    1 2 3 4 T
    MIN 26 29 19 2296
    SEA 22 26 24 35107

    Top Performers

    Min: M. Blount 23 Pts, 8 Reb, 3 Ast, 1 Blk

    Sea: R. Allen 38 Pts, 2 Reb, 5 Ast, 2 Stl, 1 Blk

    Allen's 38 leads Sonics past Timberwolves

    SEATTLE (AP) -- With a shot at the playoffs all but gone, Ray Allen and his teammates had their pride and professionalism challenged at halftime.

    The Seattle SuperSonics responded with an impressive second half that added to Minnesota's road woes.

    Allen scored 38 points, his best performance in more than a month, and the SuperSonics used a strong finish to beat the Timberwolves 107-96 on Friday night.

    Allen made 13 of 26 shots and scored 21 in the second half after the Sonics were chastised by coach Bob Hill at halftime.

    "We started the first half tonight with that same muddy approach. We were lethargic and didn't have much enthusiasm," Allen said. "The attitude was there in the second half."

    Allen, who scored a season-high 42 in a double-overtime win over Phoenix on Jan. 22, ignited the Sonics in the final 6½ minutes as Seattle outscored Minnesota 23-8.

    Earl Watson had his best game since being acquired from Denver at the trade deadline. Watson scored 12 points and added 10 assists as Seattle's bench outscored Minnesota's 33-15.

    Rashard Lewis shot just 3-for-11, but added 15 points and eight rebounds for the Sonics, who finished a five-game homestand 3-2.

    "At halftime I kind of let them have it for the whole halftime," Hill said. "We didn't really change anything ... the second half was about forcing their will on the game."

    Mark Blount was outstanding for the Timberwolves, scoring 23 points and shooting 10-of-12. Kevin Garnett added 21 points and 10 rebounds, but his 22-footer with 4:44 left was Minnesota's only field goal in the last 6 minutes.

    The Timberwolves haven't won a road game since Feb. 6 at Phoenix and have dropped 17 of the last 20.

    "We did a good job in the first half, but in the second half I thought we were a little lax," Minnesota coach Dwane Casey said. "Putting together 48 minutes is our goal from here on out ... that has been the story of our whole year."

    Leading only twice all night, Seattle finally took control midway through the fourth quarter. Allen made a 17-footer and was fouled by Ricky Davis. The three-point play brought Seattle within 88-87. Blount then missed for just the second time, and Watson made a 3-pointer from the top of the arc with 1 second on the shot clock for a 90-88 lead with 5:33 left.

    Watson scored again, but four points from Garnett tied the score at 92.

    Watson then found Allen for a 3-pointer and a 95-92 Seattle lead, its biggest to that point. Marcus Banks made two free throws, but Allen lofted an alley-oop dunk to Chris Wilcox and Robert Swift scored for the Sonics.

    Banks missed a pair of open jumpers for Minnesota -- the second an airball as the shot-clock expired -- and Allen hit another 3-pointer to put Seattle up 102-94 with 2:29 left.

    "Young guys go through tough times all the time. He's had some great games and he's had some tough games," Garnett said of Banks. "He's going to struggle, but the expectations he's put on himself are high and they should be."

    Wilcox had 11 points for the Sonics and Swift scored all nine of his points in the second half. The second-year center played just 14 minutes, but helped Seattle hold a 52-28 advantage on points in the paint.

    "We needed Robert to have a good game," Hill said. "The team needed Robert to have a good game, the fans probably needed Robert to have a good game, so the second half was great."

    Banks had 15 points and nine assists, but scored just two points, handed out one assist and missed all four shot attempts in the second half. Davis added 16 points.

    Game notes

    The worst defensive team in the league, Seattle has held four straight opponents under 100 points. ... Allen is now three points shy of 15,000 for his career. Allen would be the 97th player in league history to eclipse the mark. ... Minnesota plays at Phoenix on Saturday, then spends four days in Los Angeles playing the Clippers and Lakers.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 96 107
    FGM-FGA 40-84 (.476) 38-79 (.481)
    3PM-3PA 2-12 (.167) 5-16 (.313)
    FTM-FTA 14-19 (.737) 26-35 (.743)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 12-36 14-39
    Assists 29 25
    Turnovers 17 16
    Steals 8 6
    Blocks 5 2
    Fast Break Points 13 10
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 23 (0/0) 18 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 9 11

    Top Performers

    Mark Blount Blount
    Points: 23
    Reb: 8
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 1
    Ray Allen Allen
    Points: 38
    Reb: 2
    Ast: 5
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 1