Friday , May , 13 , 2005 C.Y. Ellis

One for us: Sonics win Game 3 at home

Seattle, WA (Sports Network) – Ray Allen had 20 points — despite not scoring
in the fourth quarter — and the Seattle SuperSonics survived for a 92-91
victory over San Antonio in Game 3 of their Western Conference semifinal
series.

Antonio Daniels added 18 points off the bench and Jerome James scored 15
before fouling out for the Sonics, who pulled within 2-1 in this seven-game
series.

“They had us on our heels, but tonight we came out with the sense of urgency,”
said Seattle head coach Nate McMillan.

Game 4 is scheduled for Sunday at KeyArena, where Seattle is unbeaten in four
games this postseason.

Tim Duncan scored 23 points with 11 rebounds to lead the Spurs, but his
potential game-winning shot at the buzzer missed. Tony Parker and Manu
Ginobili added 18 points apiece in the loss.

Poor free throw shooting killed the Spurs in the game, and especially down the
stretch. They missed six of their last 10 tries in the final four minutes of
the game, with Ginobili going just 3-for-6 during that span.

“I felt like we got a break there (on the missed free throws),” McMillan said.
“We did a nice job in making them earn it.”

And while the Spurs were playing good defense, they were missing shot after
shot on the offensive side. They went just 4-of-17 from the floor in the
fourth quarter — not nearly good enough in a physical game that was tied
heading into the fourth quarter.

At the other end, Seattle was good enough down the stretch despite Allen’s
late ineffectiveness.

Allen had all 20 of his points in the first three quarters. But guarded by
All-Defensive first team member Bruce Bowen in the fourth, he missed all six
of his field goal attempts — including an off-balance jumper at the buzzer on
Seattle’s final possession.

But it didn’t matter. Daniels scored 10 of his 18 points in the fourth,
including six on free throws in the final 3:34 of the game. His last two foul
shots gave the Sonics a 92-89 lead after Nick Collison’s layup had put them
ahead for good.

“We played well as a team in the fourth quarter,” a modest Daniels said. “We
laid it all on the line, and it’s good to come away with a victory.”

Ginobili made 1-of-2 free throws at the other end after James fouled out, and
he made one more to get the Spurs within 92-91 with 29 seconds left.

But after Allen missed his jumper on Seattle’s last possession, Duncan’s one-
hander in the lane hit the rim as time expired.

It is a shot the steady Duncan usually makes.

“You get a seven-footer, you’re pretty happy with it,” said Spurs head coach
Gregg Popovich.

Overall, the Spurs shot 44 percent (32-of-73) for the game and just 11-of-34
after halftime. Seattle shot 41 percent.

The Spurs held a 29-21 lead at the end of the first quarter despite trailing
by as many as seven points early on, and they never fell behind in the second
quarter.

San Antonio carried a 51-49 lead into halftime behind 54 percent shooting.
Allen scored 13 points in the third quarter and the teams headed into the
fourth tied at 75-75.

SAN SEA