Tuesday, March 15, 2005


SuperSonics 99, Bulls 93

After one quarter -- Chicago 25, Seattle 25

In the first quarter, the first Sonic possession was great, as they got multiple offensive rebounds (that continued throughout the quarter) and got a basket from Rashard Lewis. The Sonics hogged the ball for all of the first 55 seconds of the game. Then the Bulls went on a 10-0 run. Chicago started out by hitting their first six shots. Eventually, they cooled off a bit, and the Sonics were able to catch them and have a couple of short-lived leads before the Bulls got even again.

At half -- Chicago 57, Seattle 46

In the second quarter, the Sonics were undone by missing free throws (they shot 14-for-22 -- 63% -- in the half, and Evans nailed both of his) and surrendering too many second-chance points (Chicago 24-12). The play that ended the first half was horrific. Chris Duhon bricked his free throw, and Collison and Potapenko were down low trying to get the rebound. Duhon went behind the big guys and past Ray Allen to lay in his own rebound. Not to mention the play that got him to the line, when the Bulls were playing for the last shot and Duhon got some contact from Ridnour and banked in the crazy shot. Not to mention a possession before that where the Bulls had Eric Piatkowski take a three from the corner which missed, the Bulls got the rebound, then kicked it back to an open Piatkowski in the same exact spot. He didn't miss the second time. I've known since he was a Clipper that you can't leave the Polish Rifle open.

After three quarters -- Seattle 74, Chicago 69

Rashard Lewis had 13 at half, Ray Allen had 12, Luke Ridnour had 6. Allen led the team in assists with 2 (wow). Reggie Evans led the team in rebounds with 7. The Bulls were shooting 50% and outrebounding the Sonics 26-18. The Sonics were shooting 2-for-7 (28%) from beyond the arc in the half. The Sonic bench was getting outscored 26-14. Not good.

As horrible as the Sonics were in the second quarter, they were great in the third quarter. On the broadcast, Craig Ehlo was putting heavy stock in the 2-3 zone that the Sonics were throwing at the Bulls, and they couldn't seem to solve it. The Sonics clawed their way back from 15 down early in the quarter to tie it at 67 on another clutch Radmanovic three with 2:57 remaining in the quarter; his movement without the basketball on that play was incredible. All told, a good deal of the play was sparked by Reggie Evans, who by my count had 11 rebounds in the quarter. Ray Allen had a shot blocked two minutes into the quarter, and Evans got a hold of the ball and put in back in. Evans drew a charge at the 5:16 mark. With 3:38 to go, Evans grabbed a Daniels airball, put it back up and was hacked with one second left on the shot clock. Evans missed both free throws, but got his own rebound and hit one of his next two free throws. With 3:12 to go in the quarter, Evans drew yet another charge. On the next play came Radmanovic's tying three. The Sonics ended the quarter on a 20-3 run.

The Sonics erased their rebounding deficit with Reggie Evans' crazy quarter, and were outrebounding the Bulls 34-33. They were shooting 4-for-10 from 3, 19-for-31 (61%) from the line, 26-51 (~50%) from the field. More importantly, they held the Bulls to a 12-point third quarter. Lewis had 19, Allen 17, and Evans 6 and 18.

Final -- Seattle 99, Chicago 93

Reggie Evans more than likely got his minutes filled in the fourth quarter by Nick Collison, who is getting a good deal of time in the final frame lately. He was involved in some very nice plays going to the basket in the quarter. He cut to the basket and got an early layup off a Lewis pass. He dove to the floor for a long rebound past the three-point line and Ben Gordon got called for the foul. He hit a cutting Lewis, who laid in another basket. In the later minutes, Collison got another pass down low and was fouled, which was the sixth on Andres Nocioni. In the final minute, Daniels and Collison ran a beautiful pick-and-roll as well, and Collison got a layup.

Not to be forgotten is the play of Jerome James in the final quarter. After Danny Fortson fouled out early in the quarter, James got a pass from Radmanovic and cut to the basket for a slam and a foul with 4:12 left, and he nailed the free throw to double the Sonics' lead at 87-81. At 2:16 came the alleyoop slam feed from Daniels to James, which was quite nice, and put the Sonics up by six once again at 91-85.

Rashard Lewis 30 pts/9 reb/3 ast (11-14 FG, 0-2 3pt, 8-10 free throws, 39 min), Ray Allen 17 pts/7 ast (5-18 FG, 1-4 3pt, 6-6 free throws, 39 min), Luke Ridnour 8 pts/3 reb (4-6 FG, 0-2 free throws, 26 min), Reggie Evans 6 pts/19 reb (1-3 FG, 4-8 free throws, 27 min)

Antonio Daniels 9 pts/4 reb/5 ast (3-8 FG, 1-2 3pt, 2-2 free throws, 31 min), Vladimir Radmanovic 7 pts/5 reb/2 ast (1-7 FG, 1-4 3pt, 4-6 free throws, 22 min), Nick Collison 5 pts/5 reb (2-4 FG, 1-2 free throws), Danny Fortson 4 pts/3 reb (1-2 FG, 2-3 free throws, fouled out, 6 min), Ron Murray 4 pts (1-1 FG, 2-4 free throws), Vitaly Potapenko 2 pts (1-1 FG)

Jerome James Watch
7 pts/1 reb/2 ast/3 blk (3 turnovers, 5 fouls, 23 min)

shot 33-for-69 (47.8%) from the field, shot 3-for-12 (25%) from downtown, shot 30-for-44 (68.2%) from the line, outrebounded Chicago 51-43, turned the ball over 16 times, bench was outscored 42-31 (outrebounded them 18-16)

One thing that sticks out to me in the boxscore is the Sonics' three point numbers. Moreover, it's the fact that they only took 12 attempts. In the last couple games, they'd been in the low 20s, but they have been bricking a ton of them lately. Sixteen turnovers is still a little high though, though not as high as the New York game on Sunday when they turned over the ball 17 times. Hopefully that gets shored up sooner rather than later. The other thing is the free-throw shooting. Luckily the Bulls weren't shooting free throws well either, or else the Sonics might have kicked this one away. When you've got Luke Ridnour, Vladimir Radmanovic, and Danny Fortson all missing free throws, it's a weird night.

Also of note was that the Sonics played 11 guys rather than the usual nine. Basically that means they played Vitaly Potapenko and Ron Murray. Murray probably would have gotten more minutes tonight if it wasn't for a right hip bruise that sidelined him for the second half. Still, Vitaly and Murray contributed a couple of baskets, and Vitaly got a chance to dust off that midrange jumper of his.

Okay, I guess I should point out that Ray Allen had trouble against the Bulls again. Of course, the game was called a little more tightly than the one back in Seattle, though Ray still had trouble. The Bulls didn't like it, though, as they were whistled for a United Center record 37 fouls. They shouldn't whine too much, though -- the Sonics missed more free throws than they did. It isn't like the Sonics didn't get called for 34 fouls too, because they did. What a horrible free-throw shooting night for both teams, by the way.

For as off as Ray was from the field tonight (his excellent free-throw shooting aside), Rashard Lewis was great. An 11-for-14 night is nothing to scoff at, and he was rebound away from a 30-and-10 night. That's wild, weird stuff.

Yes, that's seven straight wins at the United Center. It's a good thing they didn't lose, because that would have been four of five. Their reward for this win? Facing Detroit the night after. Brutal.

I would have asked Jinkies if he's as perturbed by the little Bull insignias that the Bulls have but on the backs of their jerseys above the surnames. Those things bug the hell out of me.

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