Friday, March 04, 2005


SuperSonics 95, Pistons 87

(final content posted ~11:24p)

Here's what I have for tonight's game.

1st qtr
10:27 Ridnour three first basket of game SEA 3-0. 7:41 Evans fouled under the basket, second offensive-board sequence off missed shot, hits both SEA 5-4. 7:12 Allen midrange steps back on Hamilton SEA 7-5. 6:40 James turnaround midkey on Ben Wallace SEA 9-7. 6:09 Allen fouled baseline, both SEA 11-7. 5:33 Lewis baseline reverse SEA 13-9. 4:54 Ridnour corner three SEA 16-11. 3:59 Lewis fakes driving shot, sees James next to the basket for jam SEA 18-11. 3:20 James turnaround banker left SEA 20-13. 2:26 James left side jumper SEA 22-14.

After one quarter -- Detroit 23, Seattle 22

Normally I'd be ticked about the Sonics blowing an eight-point lead no matter when it happens, but here it happened in the first quarter. Detroit didn't score for the first three minutes, but the Sonics had only one Luke Ridnour three to show for it. The Pistons got a couple key plays in the paint, not the least of which was the Ben Wallace highlight-reel alleyoop off the inbound. Jerome James was key in the first quarter, providing some inside offensive presence, but his second foul was a bit untimely, not staying on his feet and committing a bad foul as Antonio McDyess hit his shot and ended up with a three-point play.

2nd qtr
11:19 Radmanovic three left corner SEA 25-23. 10:41 Collison lays in underneath, kinda travels SEA 27-23. 10:07 Daniels pull-up right side SEA 29-25. 9:17 Collison offensive board, layup SEA 31-25. Sonics in the penalty very early. 6:35 Lewis hits two free throws SEA 33-31. 5:46 Lewis on the line SEA 35-33. 5:07 Lewis jumphook midpost SEA 37-33. 2:52 Ridnour to trailer James jam transition SEA 39-38. 1:36 Detroit over the limit, Evans misses two free throws. 1:09 Evans fastbreak fouled before he could dunk, hits one DET 41-40. 0:04.1 Lewis fouled on baseline jam attempt, hits both DET 45-42.

After one half -- Detroit 45, Seattle 42

Well, the Sonics could really use Ray Allen (1-for-7) getting warm. The Sonics are shooting 42% at the half (but only 3-for-11 from three), and as usual they're getting blasted in the paint (30 to 16). Eight first-half turnovers is never a good thing either. The Sonics are leading in boards 22-19, which is somewhat surprising given a number of Detroit tip-ins off of misses that I can remember at the moment.

One point of trouble was the barrage of whistles that went against the Sonics early in the second quarter. James got his second foul, and he sat for a while. Then Radmanovic got two quick fouls and got the same fate as James. This helped the Pistons get the bench advantage 14-9.

As for individual scorers, the Sonics have two guys in double figures. One is Rashard Lewis (10), but the other is Jerome James (10). Ray Allen is sitting on 4 points, though he does have 4 rebounds and 4 assists. Luke Ridnour nailed two three-pointers and has six points.

It's definitely Detroit's pace of game right now. The Sonics just need to create some more space, hit their shots, and take care of the basketball a little better. Not that I wouldn't say that for every game.

3rd qtr
10:34 Allen to the line on a Seattle third chance, hits both DET 47-44. 10:10 Ridnour midrange DET 48-46. 8:41 Ridnour three right DET 51-49. 7:48 Ridnour finds James in the paint, slam DET 53-51. 7:12 Lewis drives, banks beside paint TIE 53-53. 6:29 James down low again TIE 55-55. 6:10 Radmanovic in. 5:43 Allen midrange SEA 57-55. 5:05 Ridnour finds Radmanovic trailing, lays in SEA 59-57. 3:44 Evans cleans up Allen blown layup, fouled, hits one SEA 60-59. 2:30 Daniels drives off pick, lays in, fouled, hits SEA 63-62. 2:16 Radmanovic fourth foul (DET 64-63). 1:40 Ridnour high running banker SEA 65-64. 1:01 Fortson rebounds Ridnour three miss, lays in SEA 67-65. 0:28.2 Fortson fouled trying to get rebound, hits both SEA 69-65.

After three quarters -- Seattle 69, Detroit 67

Well, a couple more people scored points, and that's good. Ray Allen hit one more basket, but missed five more. I'd have to say Luke Ridnour had a lot of say on offense, as he had seven points in the quarter, and had a few good assists. Reggie Evans and Danny Fortson are also raising some hell on defense. Is there really any reason the Sonics should have a 35-25 advantage on the glass against Detroit? They've got Ben Wallace, for goodness' sake. The Sonics only had one turnover in the quarter.

4th qtr
11:09 Allen fouled, hits both SEA 71-69. 9:51 Radmanovic finds Fortson low, lays in TIE 73-73. 8:20 Collison stuffs Ben Wallace. 7:49 Allen to the rack layup SEA 75-73. 6:50 Fortson rebounds, is fouled, goes to bench. 6:30 Lewis posts up, falls away SEA 77-73. 6:03 Daniels drives baseline, lays up, fouled, hits SEA 80-73. 4:39 Lewis falls away, goes to the line, hits both SEA 82-73, 11-0 run. 4:06 Lewis blocks a sure fastbreak dunk for Prince. 3:33 Allen drives, gets fouled, hits one SEA 83-76. 2:57 James off broken play (Lewis loses the dribble) lays in SEA 85-76, swats on other end. 2:31 Lewis hits baseline after Collison is trapped SEA 87-76. 1:53 James foul, Sonics over limit. 1:38 Daniels drives, fouled hard, hits both SEA 89-77. 0:35.3 FOULFEST.

Final -- Seattle 95, Detroit 87

Wow. Simply put, wow.

Ray Allen had a way-off night (Rip Hamilton was bottling him up), Vladimir Radmanovic was far from a factor, and a good portion of this game was played at a pace that heavily favored the style of the Pistons.

How did the Sonics pull this one out?

For one thing, Jerome James probably had the game of his life, and definitely the game of his NBA career. Much like the Indiana game, he was a good option down low. I'm still marveling at that sequence in the fourth quarter where Rashard Lewis lost his dribble, fell down, and James picked up the ball and hit a running shot. That wasn't the end of the sequence, because he came up with a key swat of Chauncey Billups (**thanks to Danny O'Neil of the P-I for that one) on the other end. If memory serves me right, James got his fourth foul pretty early in the third quarter, but Coach McMillan definitely knew something, and he left him in the game a little longer than I thought he would. As for the foul trouble, it definitely wasn't just him, because Fortson and Radmanovic were in foul trouble themselves.

Luke Ridnour's offensive output was also a big thing that kept the Sonics in the game in the first half. This is good considering he'd had a stretch of a couple games there where he was terrible from the floor, possibly from the plantar fasciitis. In one of those games, he barely took any shots.

Rashard Lewis was having a decent amount of success along the baseline tonight. That drop-step and fadeaway was a nice move.

But it wasn't just a matter of other scorers stepping up when the usual suspects weren't hitting on all cylinders. This team still had to defend.

Rasheed Wallace was one rebound away from a double-double at halftime (10 and 9). Nick Collison had a decent part, along with the rest of the Sonics' bigs, in holding Rasheed SCORELESS (really) in the second half.

But there were some very key defensive stops in that fourth quarter. Collison had a stuff on Ben Wallace trying to slam one, and Tayshaun Prince got a long outlet pass and looked to be going in for a sure dunk, but Lewis got all ball.

Okay, I'm officially on the bandwagon now. This team is special. Sure, I know the Pistons just played the night before and lost to Phoenix, but I'm going to go to sleep tonight thinking that the Sonics just beat the Pistons at their own game.

What a win.

Rashard Lewis 18 pts/4 reb/2 blk (6-14 FG, 0-4 3pt, 6-6 free throws, 6 turnovers), Luke Ridnour 15 pts/2 reb/6 ast (5-9 FG, 3-5 3pt, 2-2 free throws), Ray Allen 15 pts/7 reb/6 ast (3-17 FG, 0-4 3pt, 9-10 free throws), Reggie Evans 4 pts/12 reb (0-4 FG, 4-8 free throws)

Antonio Daniels 10 pts/3 reb (3-6 FG, 0-2 3pt, 4-4 free throws), Nick Collison 6 pts/5 reb (3-5 FG), Danny Fortson 6 pts/8 reb (2-4 FG, 2-2 free throws), Vladimir Radmanovic 5 pts (2-6 FG, 1-3 3pt)

Jerome James Watch
16 pts/7 reb/3 blk (8-10 FG, 25 min)

shot 32-for-75 (42.7%) from the field, shot 4-for-18 (22.2%) from downtown, shot 27-for-32 (84.4%) from the line, outrebounded Detroit 49-33, were beat 56-40 in the paint, were beat 7-5 on the break, bench was outscored 30-27 (outboarded Detroit bench 17-9)

Seriously, the fact that the Sonics pulled this game out is incredible. Ray Allen was way off, like I said, though he still was a factor because he can still nail 9 of 10 from the line. Vladimir Radmanovic was not a factor. The Sonics were absolutely horrible from three-point range. Ben Wallace and Rasheed Wallace were on the other team.

What happens instead? Jerome James goes nuts, Luke Ridnour steps up, and the team kills Detroit on the boards. I'm amazed.

Normally, every time I think about facing the Pistons, I think about watching a game that I absolutely hate, where the game ends up with a score like 75-69 or something. That said, this game was thoroughly enjoyable, even though the Sonics didn't get to launch threes like crazy and Ray Allen wasn't hitting leaning bank shots from beyond the arc. This was a 48-minute chess match, and it was great to see certain players come out and make things happen.

But man, what a game by the big guys, and what a game for this team on defense.

In the games since the All-Star break, the Sonics have allowed 85, 85, 88, 99, 93, 86, and 87 points. All of those triple-digit numbers before the break and all those crazy 30-plus-point quarters by Sonic opponents hopefully are a distant memory.

Man, this feels good. It's like I've been anticipating both this game and the Phoenix game on Sunday all week, but this win is just too good to even think about Phoenix on Sunday.

When I actually look about the boxscore tonight, the distribution of minutes is incredibly more even than usual. Ridnour, Allen, and Lewis were all around 30, Reggie Evans got 21, James got 19, and the four guys off the bench got 13 and 12 each. Just a curious note there.

I would have asked Jinkies if he would ever tease his hair up into a Ben Wallace 'fro.

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