Blazers rally to beat Sonics
Seattle, WA (Sports Network) – Zach Randolph scored 30 points and pulled down
10 rebounds as the Portland Trail Blazers rallied for a 110-106 victory over
Rookie Brandon Roy scored 20 on 10-of-16 shooting in a homecoming game. Roy
attended the University of Washington, and played high school basketball at
Seattle’s Garfield High.
“I wanted to come back and play well, I just wanted to get this one out of
the way,” said Roy, a first-round pick.
Seattle led by a score of 99-90 with 5:03 left in the game, but couldn’t hold
off the Trail Blazers in the season opener for both teams.
“This was a total team effort,” said Blazers coach Nate McMillan.
Ray Allen scored 22 points for the Sonics, but missed an open three-point shot
from the top of the key with five seconds left that would have given his team
the lead. Damien Wilkins’ fadeaway shot off the rebound drew iron as the
Sonics fell short.
Rashard Lewis scored 25 for the Sonics, and Luke Ridnour added 22 and 13
An Allen three-pointer gave the Sonics a 104-100 lead with 1:39 left, but
Portland countered with two stops and Randolph hit four free throws to
level the score at 104 with 1:09 remaining.
Ime Udoka ripped down two crucial rebounds in the last minute to help the
Blazers hold on.
The first, off a Jarrett Jack miss with 38 seconds left, kept possession for
the Blazers and led to a shooting foul. Travis Outlaw made his first shot with
18 seconds left to give Portland a 105-104 lead, but missed the second. Udoka
slipped past Seattle’s Nick Collison to grab the rebound and hit two more free
throws two seconds later to give Portland a 107-104 lead.
“I take full responsibility for not boxing out,” said Collison.
Ridnour’s layup cut the deficit to a point with nine seconds left, before Jack
made one free throw. Allen and Wilkins then missed their crucial shots and
Randolph hit two free throws to ice the victory.
Seattle jumped out to a fast start in front of the home crowd, leading by as
many as 12 in the first quarter. Portland answered by scoring the last eight
of the first quarter, and the first eight of the second quarter, a 16-0 run
that gave the Trail Blazers a 28-24 lead.
A time-out by Seattle head coach Bob Hill stopped the bleeding, and the
defense-minded Sonics ran off 19-5 stretch that gave Seattle a 43-33 lead. The
run was punctuated by a vicious tomahawk dunk by Chris Wilcox, who finished
with 17 points and six rebounds for the Sonics.
Seattle led 78-76 going into the fourth.
This season is the 40th in SuperSonics history… Seattle took three of
four from Portland last year, the second year in a row it won the season
series…Portland is coming off of a terrible 2005-06 season in which it
finished at 21-61, last in the Western Conference…Seattle finished 35-47
last year, 11th out of 15 teams in the West.