EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- Luke Ridnour had the high
pick-and-roll working to perfection and there was nothing the New
Jersey Nets could do to stop him.
Ridnour scored a career-high 32 points and Seattle opened a
28-point, first-half lead and then held off a late New Jersey Nets
rally in posting a 119-113 victory on Monday night, giving the
road-weary SuperSonics their third straight win.
"I kept calling pick and rolls for him and he just kept getting
in the paint and hitting those floaters," Seattle coach Bob Hill
said. "That in-between game is so important to him and he put on a
clinic. He had good rhythm and they can't guard him. Their guards
are big. He got inside, he got angles and he got fouls.
Not only did Ridnour score on 11-of-18 shooting from the field,
but he also opened shots for Rashard Lewis and Ray Allen on the
wings and made space on the inside for Chris Wilcox as the
SuperSonics finished a five-game road trip.
Lewis added 27 points, and Allen and Wilcox had 22 apiece for
the SuperSonics who saw the Nets get within five points in the
final 1:39 before Ridnour sealed the game with four free throws.
"It's fun," Ridnour said of the pick and roll that sets up his
little rainbow runners. "It let's you attack and make plays. It
felt good to get into a rhythm. I'm just trying to get better and
better. I'm just trying to read pick and rolls differently. I'm
trying to get different looks out of it. It's felt good so far."
"He dictated the tempo," said Nets guard Jason Kidd, who had
20 points, 12 assists and six rebounds. "He controlled the game.
He made shots. He found open guys."
The Nets, who came into the fourth quarter behind 96-80,
whittled the lead to eight points in the opening three-plus minutes
and they had it down to 113-108 when Kidd hit two free throws with
1:39 to play.
With the shot clock winding down, Ridnour got Nets rookie Marcus
Williams off his feet and took a nudge, drawing a foul. He hit both
shots with 1:15 to go.
A basket by Carter got New Jersey within 115-110 with 38 seconds
to go, but Ridnour made two more free throws and the Nets never
"We expect ourselves to come out and play better than that,"
Carter said. "We had to fight to made it look respectable. With
our fans booing, we weren't very happy with our performance
Lewis (10-of-17) and Wilcox (8-of-13) had great shooting nights
for Seattle, which held a 46-34 rebounding edge, including 20-10 on
the offensive boards.
Seattle seemingly took control with a 17-2 first quarter spurt
that gave them a 29-14 lead. The run featured seven points by Allen
and five apiece by Ridnour and Lewis.
The SuperSonics hit five of their first seven shots in the run
and capped it with an Allen 3-pointer after they got two straight
The SuperSonics pushed the advantage to 46-23 early in the
second quarter when Lewis hit a 3-pointer to cap an 11-4 spurt that
got the crowd booing for a second time.
New Jersey, which went to overtime in beating Washington on
Sunday, used a late 12-2 run to close the deficit to 60-42 at the
half. The margin was still 16 points at the end of the third
quarter before New Jersey made its last run.
Ridnour's previous career high was 30. He also had seven
assists. ...Seattle bench only had 12 points. .... The Nets played
their second straight game without forward Richard Jefferson, who
is sidelined with a sprained ankle. ... Kidd's third assist gave
him 8,000 in his career. He joins Magic Johnson as the only players
with 12,500 points, 8,000 assists, 5,500 rebounds and 1,500 steals
in their careers. ...Allen now has 15,704 career points, moving
into 81st place overall ahead of Larry Nance, 15,687.
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