Tuesday, March 01, 2005
(final content posted ~9:47p)
Here's what I have for the game tonight. Postgame thoughts go below all the in-game stuff, as per hopefully usual.
11:10 James turnaround over O'Neal SEA 2-0. 9:25 Lewis running banker right SEA 6-2. 8:46 James works O'Neal for a foul low, hits both SEA 8-2. 7:33 Ray Allen three left SEA 11-6. 7:16 Rick Carlisle gets second T, tossed. 6:40 Evans foul and one, hits SEA 15-6. 5:21 James works Pollard near the paint SEA 17-8. 3:48 Lewis reverse through Jackson. 2:28 Lewis tip-in off Radmanovic miss SEA 26-17. 1:44 Evans hits two free throws SEA 28-17. 1:11 Daniels pulls up SEA 30-20. 0:45.1 Evans hits two MORE free throws SEA 32-20.
After one quarter -- Seattle 32, Indiana 20
The Sonics shot 11-for-19 in the first quarter after starting out crappy their last two games. Conversely, the Pacers started out like the Sonics have the last couple of games. Rashard Lewis was red-hot early, shooting 6-for-6 (12 points) as Ray Allen was on the bench for a good portion of the first quarter after getting whistled for two fouls. Danny Fortson is rocking a headband look, with the braids just flying all over the place. It's nowhere near worse than what Scot Pollard looks like, but that's Scot Pollard for you. Reggie Evans was actually hitting his free throws, shooting 6-for-7 from the line and getting 8 points along with 6 boards.
Kevin Calabro is stressing the second syllable in Rick Carlisle's surname. It's fun.
10:48 O'Neal backs into Fortson for his third foul. 10:31 Collison inside SEA 34-22. 9:08 Daniels beats the shot clock from the corner SEA 38-25. 6:41 Miller working Ridnour...Ridnour called for third foul, Indiana on 7-0 run. 5:38 Allen hits two, first Sonic points since 9:21, SEA 40-33. 5:13 Allen pulls up top of key SEA 42-35. 4:39 Evans T'd. 4:00 Allen righty reverse SEA 44-38. 3:06 James offensive rebound, lays back in, fouled, hits SEA 47-41. 2:22 Lewis jumphook SEA 49-44. 1:36 James works Pollard, goes baseline reverse SEA 51-44. 0:35 Daniels pulls up SEA 53-46.
The Pacers got to the basket a lot easier in the early part of the quarter after Fortson went to the bench with two fouls, and Evans was on the bench as well. McMillan was going with Radmanovic and Collison up front with the two point guards and Ray Allen as the other three.
At half -- Seattle 53, Indiana 48
The Sonics started out a lot better than they did the last two games, and that's a good thing. The erasure of most of their lead by the Pacers wasn't so nice in the second quarter, and I think that had to with when Evans and Fortson sitting on the bench for a decent portion of the quarter, as Austin Croshere blew through the defense for multiple layups. It also had to do with the fact that the Pacers were nailing their threes.
The inside play, however, has been a key thing so far in the game. Jerome James has 11 points and 6 boards at the half, and Reggie Evans is at 8 and 8. Rashard Lewis was on fire in the first quarter and finished the half with 14 points on 7-for-9 shooting. Antonio Daniels has contributed some scoring punch off the bench, which is good because Luke Ridnour has shot horribly lately, and Ridnour got worked into foul trouble by Reggie Miller when he was in there.
10:45 Lewis left baseline SEA 55-52. 9:36 IND 56-55. 7:51 Allen three SEA 58-57. 7:29 Allen layup on break SEA 60-57. 7:09 second straight Pacer turnover. 5:40 Allen blown past for a layup, McMillan calls time. 6:21 Lewis power hook low SEA 62-59. 5:32 Allen baseline jam SEA 64-61. 3:24 Fortson rebound and putback, TIE 67-67. 2:10 Radmanovic three SEA 70-68. 1:31 Collison puts back Daniels miss SEA 72-70.
After three quarters -- Indiana 73, Seattle 72
9:44 Radmanovic drive IND 77-76. 9:09 Daniels drive SEA 78-77, Indiana timeout. 8:23 Radmanovic running righty layup TIE 80-80. 6:57 Radmanovic beats clock on broken play IND 84-82. 6:20 James steps back baseline TIE 84-84. 4:54 Lewis three IND 89-87. 4:20 Radmanovic three SEA 90-89. 3:46 Lewis fakes a pass into the corner, sticks a three on the next possession SEA 93-89, 9-0 Sonic run. 3:31 James fouls out. 3:08 Lewis layup inside, nice pass Daniels SEA 95-90. 2:53 O'Neal travels down low, forced by Fortson. 2:38 Lewis misses two free throws. 1:36 Fortson fouls O'Neal, who hits both SEA 95-92. 1:21 Lewis hook goaltended low by O'Neal SEA 97-92. 1:07 O'Neal blows layup, ticked at no Fortson foul. 0:39.3 Fred Jones hits one SEA 97-93. 0:04.3 Daniels fouled...this should be it -- the Sonics bricked on their last possession, but killed a ton of time. 0:01.3 Radmanovic steals inbound, drives and is fouled, hits both SEA 101-93.
Final -- Seattle 101, Indiana 93
Wow, I haven't game posted that way in probably a couple weeks...
You know, a couple minutes into the fourth quarter, I didn't expect the Sonics to win this game, though I wasn't going to be surprised if they pulled it out of the hat. It might be time to change my expectations or something. The 9-0 run for the Sonics put them ahead. Radmanovic sandwiched a three between two Lewis threes to erase a five-point deficit and get a four-point lead. In the later minutes, the Sonics got the right amount of defensive stops, whether it was forcing turnovers, denying shots, or altering the shots that were taken by the Pacers. In practice, as was brought up multiple times during the game by the broadcast crew, the Sonics scrimmaged and required the half of their team playing defense to get five stops before they got to play offense. Since that's far from smooth sailing, I'm sure that helped motivate the Sonics late in the fourth quarter. Though he didn't score or rebound that much in the game, one of the key stops just inside the last three minutes was to the credit of Danny Fortson, who forced Jermaine O'Neal into a walk. Though Rashard Lewis ended up bricking a couple of free throws right after that, time isn't on the side of the team that's behind late in the fourth quarter, and Fortson helped kill a good deal of time that the Pacers could have used.
It was a bit disappointing to not see the Sonics stomp on the Pacers in the first half after they had the double-digit lead, but on the other hand, Indiana wasn't going to shoot that horribly for the whole game. They weren't going to pull what the Sonics pulled a couple days ago in Milwaukee. At the same time, I wasn't liking the ease with which Austin Croshere was blowing by everybody and getting layups. Steven Jackson was also going nuts from downtown, but I was less pleased with Croshere knifing through the defense.
I'll have more on this with the peek later, but for now, I'm hungry and it's dinnertime.
PEEK AT THE BOXSCORE
Rashard Lewis 30 pts/2 reb (14-19 FG, 2-5 3pt, 0-2 free throws), Ray Allen 18 pts/3 reb/2 ast (6-14 FG, 2-4 3pt, 4-5 free throws, 35 min), Reggie Evans 8 pts/12 reb (1-2 FG, 6-7 free throws, 22 min), Luke Ridnour 0 pts/4 ast (0-3 FG, 22 min)
Vladimir Radmanovic 14 pts/3 reb (5-10 FG, 2-2 3pt, 2-2 free throws, 30 min), Antonio Daniels 12 pts/6 reb/4 ast (4-8 FG, 4-4 free throws, 35 min), Nick Collison 4 pts (2-4 FG, 14 min), Danny Fortson 2 pts/4 reb (1-3 FG, 16 min), Ron Murray 0 pts/0 reb/0 ast (0-1 FG, 2 min)
Jerome James Watch
13 pts/7 reb/2 blk (5-8 FG, 3-3 free throws, 24 min, fouled out)
shot 38-for-72 (52.8%) from the field, shot 6-for-13 (46.2%) from downtown, shot 19-for-23 (82.6%) from the line, outrebounded Pacers 38-34, bench was outscored 33-32 (benches each rebounded 14)
Jerome James was a much welcome option down low in the start of the game, as he was, dare I say, having his way with Indiana's front line. Really. Rashard Lewis was on fire in the first quarter, and that helped the Sonics open up that big lead.
Then the Sonics were held to 21 in the second quarter. Indiana rained some threes and Austin Croshere drove for a bunch of layups. The good thing was that the Sonics started out shooting way better in the first half than they had in their two games beforehand.
The Sonics eventually lost their lead in the third quarter. Their saving grace was that they didn't totally tank it. There's a general rule when playing behind on the road that you want to at least be within 10 points going into the final quarter to have a shot at winning the game. Considering that, the Sonics were within one, and far from dire straits.
Then the Sonics were down by 5 with under five minutes remaining. Ray Allen wasn't having his best night, and Luke Ridnour was barely taking any shots (both had some foul trouble), but Vladimir Radmanovic started going to the basket and hitting some layups to make himself productive in this game. Of course, back to the situation...the Sonics were down 5 when Lewis nailed a three from the right corner. On the next possession, Vladimir Radmanovic sank one. On the very next possession came the highlight-reel pass fake into the corner (Radmanovic) by Lewis, where he decoyed the defense away from him before sinking the three. That was a 9-0 Sonic run, and they never coughed up the lead after that.
Vladimir Radmanovic stole a pass on Indiana's final meaningful possession, then drove all the way to the basket even though he could have easily just crossed the time line. Either way, Radmanovic sank his two free throws to put the Sonics over the century mark in the game. Too bad chalupas weren't on the line.
Well, it's been hard to tell if Radmanovic has had his wrist heal up or not. I know a week or so ago he had a somewhat Vlad-type game and then was in the crapper for the next couple games or so. I'm not sure what to expect tomorrow from Radmanovic.
I asked Jinkies which side he's on in the Pace vs. Old El Paso debate. His reply: "Yes, I am without the claws, but don't get any mental ideas."