Monday , Apr , 11 , 2005 C.Y. Ellis

Seattle SuperSonics Team Report – April 11

=== Seattle SuperSonics Team Report – April 11 ===

(Sports Network) – The struggling Seattle SuperSonics will try once again to
lock up the Northwest Division crown, as they welcome the playoff-bound
Houston Rockets on Monday to the Toyota Center.

Seattle is attempting to win its first division title since 1997-98, when it
went 61-21 and won its third consecutive Pacific Division title. The Sonics
have already posted 50 wins for just the 10th time in franchise history and
first since the 1997-98 campaign.

The Sonics, who are the third seed in the Western Conference, leads the
second-place Nuggets by five games in the Northwest Division.

Houston is the sixth seed in the West and owns a slim 1/2 game lead over the
seventh-seeded Nuggets. The Rockets trail No. 5 Sacramento by just 1 1/2

It is the third meeting of the season between the clubs. The SuperSonics
defeated Houston, 87-85, at the Toyota Center, while the Rockets beat Seattle,
97-95 at KeyArena. The teams will play once more time in the regular season,
as the Rockets will host Seattle on April 20th.

Seattle starts a three-game homestand on Monday, as it will also host the
Dallas Mavericks and New Orleans Hornets on the current stand.

The Sonics enter Monday’s game on a four-game losing streak. On Saturday,
Carmelo Anthony scored 24 points and Earl Boykins had 23 on 8-of-11 shooting
as the Nuggets cruised past slumping Seattle, 121-105, at the Pepsi Center.
All-Star Ray Allen poured in 32 points for the injury-plagued SuperSonics, who
have lost six of their last eight overall.

Ronald Murray finished with 20 points and Damien Wilkins netted 14 for Seattle
in Saturday’s loss. The Sonics played the Nuggets without star forward Rashard
Lewis (foot contusion) and key reserve Antonio Daniels (knee), while forward
Danny Fortson also sat out the contest with a sprained left shoulder.

Allen has played 40 or more minutes in five straight games and has scored 20
or more points in four straight contests. He is averaging 25.3 points, 5.9
rebounds and 2.9 assists in his last 10 outings.

Seattle, which has lost two of its last three at home, is 25-13 as the host
this season. After the current homestand, the Sonics will embark on a three-
game road trip to closeout the 2004-05 regular season. Seattle will visit
Minnesota, Dallas and Houston on its season-ending swing.