Sonics squeeze past Clippers
Seattle, WA (Sports Network) – Rashard Lewis scored 31 points, including four
in the final minute, as the Seattle SuperSonics edged the Los Angeles
Clippers, 77-75, in the finale of a home-and-home set at KeyArena.
With Seattle holding a two-point lead, Lewis converted a pair of free throws
with 52.4 seconds on the clock for a 75-71 Sonics advantage.
Elton Brand then scored on a turnaround jumper from the low left post with
42.5 seconds remaining to make it a one-possession game, but Lewis cut across
the baseline and scored on a floater with 24.8 seconds left to again give
Seattle a four-point cushion.
Corey Maggette then cut hard down the lane and got bumped by Chris Wilcox, who
fouled out with 9.3 seconds on the clock. After Maggette sank both free
throws, Seattle advanced the ball to halfcourt with a timeout.
However, LA’s Will Conroy knocked the ball off Damien Wilkins’ shoulder on the
inbound pass, giving LA 8.2 seconds of golden opportunity to tie it or win the
game. Brand got a good look on a 16-foot jumper, but came up short, as the
Sonics escaped with the win.
Wilcox finished with 12 points and 13 rebounds for Seattle, which has won two
of its last three. Luke Ridnour also scored 12 points, and Nick Collison added
11 points and 10 boards for the SuperSonics, who are 17-13 at KeyArena.
Seattle is scheduled to host rookie Adam Morrison and the Charlotte Bobcats on
Brand posted 22 points and eight rebounds for the Clippers, who had a three-
game winning streak snapped. Mobley netted 18 points, Maggette had 15, and
Chris Kaman added 10 points and nine boards for the Clippers, who return home
to host Indiana on Saturday and San Antonio on Monday; and are just 8-20 on
the road this season.
Both clubs were severely shorthanded at the guard position. Seattle’s Ray
Allen sat out with inflammation in his left ankle, while Sam Cassell suffered
a strained right groin in the set’s opener, and did not play either.
After Mobley’s jumper 34 seconds after the opening tip-off, Seattle raced out
to an 11-2 lead, capped by a Collison tip shot with 8:33 remaining. LA then
got going and scored seven straight to trail 11-9 with 7:14 left, and the
Sonics led 26-21 heading into the second.
Leading by one four minutes into the second stanza, the Sonics went on a 9-2
spurt capped by a Lewis trey with 5:55 to go, and retained control down the
stretch for a 41-34 halftime lead.
The Clippers regrouped in the locker room and opened the second half on an 8-2
run, sparked by a pair of Maggette free throws 41 seconds into the third
quarter, to trim their deficit to 43-42. Both clubs stayed neck-and-neck
thereafter for a 57-57 tie heading into the fourth.
This was the fourth and final meeting of the campaign between the clubs with
each team winning twice.