Wilkins leads Seattle past Atlanta
Seattle, WA (Sports Network) – Damien Wilkins came off the bench and filled in
for an injured Rashard Lewis by scoring a career-high 26 points as Seattle
downed Atlanta 99-91 at KeyArena.
Wilkins shot 7-of-12, made 12 of his 13 free throws and scored 13 of Seattle’s
final 16 points.
“It just kind of happened,” Wilkins said. “A lot of credit has to go to Coach,
Rashard and Ray. They have been telling me to be aggressive and take my shots
so I did.”
Lewis went out in the first half with a contusion in his right quadriceps.
Ray Allen added 22 points for Seattle, which won two straight at home for the
first time since December 2-4.
“Rebounding and staying focused were the keys to the game,” Allen said. “When
Rashard went out, they told me he would not be back so I knew I had to focus
more and get my teammates more involved.”
Nick Collison posted 17 points and a career-high 15 rebounds, and Robert Swift
notched a career-high 13 rebounds for the Sonics, who halted a four-game skid.
“I was not aware that I had so many rebounds and I hope to break that mark a
hundred times over in my career,” Collison said.
Al Harrington scored 26 points for Atlanta, which has two of its last three
games. Zaza Pachulia and Josh Childress both scored 17 points. Salim
Stoudamire netted 12 points, and Joe Johnson added 10 points and 11 assists.
The Sonics closed the game with a 15-6 run to seal the win.
The Hawks edged out a 28-26 first-quarter lead. Using a 12-4 run to close the
first half, the Sonics took a 52-44 lead into halftime. Atlanta outscored
Seattle by 10 points in the third quarter for a 78-76 lead heading into the
Seattle held a 25-8 advantage in second-chance points.
Atlanta fell to 0-11 on the road against the Western Conference and 4-19
Seattle, which was returning home after it dropped all four of its games on a
four-game road trip, opened a brief two-game homestand. It is one game below
.500 at home this season.
The Sonics, who will host Carmelo Anthony and the Denver Nuggets on Sunday,
are 12-13 at home this season. They have won three of their last four at
Atlanta began a four-game road trip. The Hawks, who will also visit
Sacramento, the Lakers and Detroit on the current swing, are 4-19 as the
visitor this season. They have lost nine of their last 11 on the road.
This was the first of two meetings between the clubs this season. The Hawks
are scheduled to host the Sonics on February 22nd at Philips Arena…The
Sonics have won four straight and five of the last six meetings in this
series…Atlanta has lost four of its last five at Seattle.