Thursday, February 10, 2005
(final content posted ~12:16a)
Here's what I have for tonight's nationally televised game.
Brad Miller is not playing as a result of his reaction to the blocked (or goaltended) layup that ended the Phoenix/Sacto game.
8:35 Ridnour three to TIE 9-9. 7:30 Evans offensive board, fakes Ostertag, lays in TIE 11-11. 4:53 Allen hits 2nd of 7 out of the timeout TIE 13-13. 2:56 Radmanovic baseline layup and foul SAC 19-17. 1:33 Allen three SAC 26-22. 1:02 Lewis underneath low SAC 26-24. 0:40.5 Daniels midrange SAC 28-26.
After one quarter -- Kings 28, SuperSonics 26
Quite the fast first quarter there. The Sonics weren't shooting too well to start out, but things eventually got more even. Along with the fast pace, there was a lot of back-and-forth play going on, and Chris Webber played almost all of the first quarter. Reggie Evans also had a share of rebounds too (8), unsurprisingly.
11:24 Collison low hook SAC 30-28. 10:51 Allen three SEA 31-30. 9:56 Allen warming up...another three SEA 34-32. 9:04 Radmanovic to rack hacked before slam SEA 36-32. 8:29 Ridnour midrange SEA 38-35. 6:20 Radmanovic nice pass low Collison layup SEA 42-37. 5:12 lefty hook Collison SEA 44-40. 3:11 Lewis offensive board, goes up, fouled by Ostertag, hits both SEA 46-45. 1:57 Fortson fouled low, hits both SEA 48-47. 1:27 Kings over limit, Allen to line SEA 50-49. 0:57.4 Allen pull-up TIE 52-52. 0:27.1 baseline stepback Lewis SEA 54-52.
Halftime -- SuperSonics 54, Kings 52
It's an entertaining and intriguing game, at least. The teams look quite evenly matched, the lead has changed hands a number of times, and nobody has really pulled away. As such, there have been no really huge runs. Ray Allen started off a bit cold but warmed up and leads all scorers at half. I'm not sure Reggie Evans even stepped onto the court in the second quarter, because his rebound count was still stuck at 8. Vladimir Radmanovic has started out 1-for-6, which is a bit disturbing. Allen scored 19 points, but no other Sonic has scored more than Rashard Lewis, and he only had 8. That's not exactly balance in the scoring. The Sonics also only have 5 assists at half, which is brutal in itself.
Yet the Sonics still have a slim lead at half. They haven't let Stojakovic and Webber get too hot, though Cuttino Mobley has done some damage. While we don't hope for Stojakovic to have his back lock up on him or for Chris Webber to bust a knee, we do hope they get quite tired in the coming quarters.
9:38 so much for that game of no runs; Sacto is on a 8-0 run to start the half. 9:10 Make that 11-0. 8:51 Evans offensive board, back up and hacked, hits one SAC 63-55. 8:18 Allen to James layup SAC 66-57. 8:04 Webber steamrolls Evans, turnover. 7:57 Lewis three SAC 66-60. 7:25 Allen sticks one SAC 66-62. 6:06 Allen off the inbound for three SAC 68-67. 5:15 Ridnour baseline jumper SEA 69-68 (14-2 run). 4:33 trailing James slam TIE 71-71. 2:34 leaning Allen baseline TIE 75-75. 2:22 Sonics over limit. 2:07 Daniels running layup TIE 77-77. 1:17 Kings over limit, but Evans to line, misses both.
After three quarters -- Kings 81, SuperSonics 77
The Kings are shooting 51%. The Sonics still haven't stopped Cuttino Mobley, who now has 25. The Sonics thankfully answered the Kings' sizable run that kicked off the second half. Rashard Lewis has managed to get himself into double figures, though no other Sonics have joined them in the double-figure scoring parade. Of course, the fact that Jerome James played much of the third quarter and Vladimir Radmanovic didn't get off the bench until there were just over three minutes to go in the third.
11:21 Daniels steals bad pass, slams in transition TIE 81-81. 9:47 Daniels sticks midrange SAC 86-85. 9:18 Lewis splits defenders in post, lays in and fouled, hits TIE 88-88. 8:05 Kings already over the limit, Lewis hits both SAC 92-90. 7:09 Fortson and Webber have some words, technicals. Fortson tossed. 6:46 Daniels slashes to glass, lays in SAC 95-92. 6:36 Lewis steals the inbound, fouled on way to glass hits one, Collison gets loose ball, ball circles perimeter, Lewis three SEA 96-95 (!!!). 5:37 Allen baseline TIE 98-98. 4:23 Webber three, Daniels plowed off the ball, SAC 101-98. 4:06 Collison steals offensive board, lays in SAC 101-100. 3:51 Sonics over limit. 3:05 Collison intercepts, hits Daniels for a transition slam SAC 103-102. 2:35 Lewis intercepts pass, eventually drives into Songaila and Webber, lays in, fouled, hits SEA 105-103. 1:47 Radmanovic fouled in backcourt after rebound SEA 107-103 (7-0 run). 1:30 Daniels give-and-go hits basket, somehow didn't count, nails both SEA 109-105. 0:54.5 Collison gets a nice feed low, lays in SEA 111-107. 0:34.9 Daniels fouled in backcourt SEA 113-107. 0:22.1 Allen fouled, hits both SEA 115-107. 0:18 Mobley misses a driving dunk
Final -- SuperSonics 115, Kings 107
You know, this might come off as gloating, but I just love it when one of my teams wins on national television. There were times tonight when I didn't think it would happen, but I'm glad it turned around in the Sonics' favor.
In the first half, I'd have to say the only time when any team was really out in front by any semi-sizable lead was when the Kings jumped out to something like a 7-2 lead really early. In the second half, the only time it got out of hand was when the Kings came out of the locker room at halftime and reeled off an 11-0 run to get a nine-point lead.
Then that set up the fourth quarter. I've got a pretty big sort of in-game paragraph on it, and I usually don't like to go too nutty with those things, but it was a packed fourth quarter.
Antonio Daniels was great cutting to the basket in the fourth quarter, and really gave the spark off the bench that Vladimir Radmanovic wasn't giving tonight. Nick Collison had some huge offensive boards down low, and his biggest play might have been when he came up with the loose ball after Lewis' missed free throw. He kicked it out to the perimeter, and it went all the way around to Lewis in the corner, and he sank the three, which gave the Sonics the lead, and really got the crowd officially into it. The crowd got into it when Chris Webber and Danny Fortson had words, and Fortson got tossed. Fortson also tipped over a chair with force on his way to the locker room, though it was nicely caught by Jerome James before it may have hit someone in photographers' row.
The Fortson/Webber thing sure got the crowd into it bigtime, and it seemed to spark the team in a weird way. In another way, it added a new wrinkle to the game, because about a minute earlier (I have 8:05 to go), the Kings were already over the limit. Of course, this is where I would suggest to pump the ball down low to Fortson every time, have him go up and get hacked, and have him nail two free throws every trip down the floor.
Taking that into account, the Sonics had to find some other way to beat the Kings down the stretch. Two defensive stops sure helped. Better yet, they were two turnovers. Nick Collison was able to intercept a pass that was cashed in by Daniels with a slam. Rashard Lewis intercepted a pass the next trip down the floor and eventually got it back for a layup and one, and the Sonics had the lead for good.
Looking back at that fourth quarter in-game paragraph, I seem to see a lot of Daniels, Collison, and Lewis. Ray Allen didn't pop up too many times in my fourth-quarter stuff, but he'd more than done his job in the first three quarters.
Vladimir Radmanovic never warmed up tonight, and I've said that already. I also noticed that Luke Ridnour didn't get a lot of minutes in the second half, and definitely the fourth quarter, but that'll happen when Daniels warms up like he did. Still, there were times when the Sonics were having Lewis play the 2, and having (before the ejection) something like Radmanovic, Collison, and Fortson in the other three spots. It was interesting to see Coach McMillan trotting out some different sets of five, to say the least.
PEEK AT THE BOXSCORE
Ray Allen 34 pts/4 reb/3 ast (10-23 FG, 4-8 3pt, 10-10 free throws), Rashard Lewis 23 pts/7 reb/2 ast/2 stl (7-16 FG, 2-3 3pt, 7-8 free throws), Luke Ridnour 9 pts/5 ast (4-10 FG, 1-3 3pt, 26 min), Reggie Evans 6 pts/12 reb (2-2 FG, 2-6 free throws)
Antonio Daniels 18 pts/3 ast (6-13 FG, 6-6 free throws), Nick Collison 10 pts/6 reb/2 stl (5-8 FG), Vladimir Radmanovic 9 pts/9 reb/3 ast (1-8 FG, 0-5 3pt, 7-7 free throws), Danny Fortson 2 pts/4 reb (17 min, tossed)
Jerome James Watch
4 pts/3 reb (trailed for a nice dunk, saved Fortson's chair from more damage, 2-4 FG, 16 min)
shot 37-for-84 (44%) from the field, shot 7-for-21 (33.3%) from downtown, shot 34-for-39 (87.2%) from the free-throw line (Reggie Evans missed four of those), badly outrebounded Sacramento 46-33, forced 11 turnovers (turned the ball over 6 times), bench outscored Sacto bench 39-16 (outrebounded them 20-5)
Okay, so I've taken a while with this. Though the postgame stuff before the peek is pretty much original, I eventually caved and listened to some outside material, namely the likes of Barkley, Smith, Kerr, and Locke. But David Locke had a great point. The Sonics don't win games when Vladimir Radmanovic does 1-for-8 from the floor. Of course, he mentioned in times past, if Vlad shot that badly from the floor, he probably wouldn't be pulling down 9 rebounds either. That's really encouraging to see him not only pull down nine boards, but also hit on all 7 chances from the free-throw line. Great stuff.
Yeah, I know we're barely past the halfway point, and I know they didn't have Brad Miller. But hey, the Sonics took that season series, and they did it on national TV.
It's a great win.
On behalf of Jeremy, I asked Jinkies if Chris Webber needed another timeout. His reply: "Yes, I am without the claws, but don't get any mental ideas."