Sunday, April 03, 2005
The last time the Sonics shot this bad was only four days (two games) ago against the Spurs. Though the Spurs were without Tim Duncan, it's one thing to lose to the best defensive team in the NBA. Though the Warriors are a hot team of late, it's quite another thing to lose to them.
Craig Ehlo said on a few occasions during the game that the Sonics had to be better on defense, and I agree with that, sure. Though the Warriors got 25 fastbreak points and 48 paint points, they still turned the ball over 20 times. The Sonics got 21 points off those turnovers. What am I trying to say? You're not going to win many ballgames if you shoot 34.5%. That just won't cut it.
The two teams mostly traded baskets for the first quarter, staying within two or three points of each other. Then the Warriors opened up a lead of seven toward the end of the quarter before finally settling on a 27-22 lead to end the quarter. The Sonics shot 9-for-23 (39%) in the first quarter, setting the tone for a whole game's worth of crappy shooting. The Warriors hit 10 of their 15 shots in the quarter. The only positives for the Sonics were that Andris Biedrins of the Warriors airballed two free throws, and five of the Sonics' seven boards were offensive.
The Sonics forced a turnover and turned it into a fast break, where Ron Murray put in a reverse layup with 8:37 remaining in the half. The Sonics led 32-31 at that point. It was their final lead of the game. The Sonics trailed by six with about five minutes left in the half when Ron Murray scored five unanswered Sonic points to cut the deficit down to one with 4:03 left. Jason Richardson scored five unanswered points (capping a 10-2 run) to stake the Warriors out to a 50-41 lead just before halftime, and it stuck as the buzzer sounded.
Seattle was shooting 16-for-43 (37%) at halftime, and 2-for-11 (18%) from beyond the arc. They were even losing 21-17 on the boards. Meanwhile, Golden State was shooting 19-for-35 (54%) despite 11 turnovers.
What happened the rest of the way? Well, the Sonics scored 26 and 25 points in the third and fourth quarters, which is somewhat surprising considering their horrible shooting percentage. The other problem was that Golden State also scored 26 in the third and 25 in the fourth. The Sonics trailed by 9 at halftime, and that's how it ended.
The Sonics tried putting together a couple of mini-runs in the second half. Ray Allen put back his own miss with 8:39 left in the third quarter to make it 55-50, though that only capped a 4-0 run. More impressive were Danny Fortson's free throws with 48.5 seconds left that cut the Warrior lead to six (70-64) after they had been up by 16 three minutes earlier; that was a 12-2 Sonic run. Of course, with that remaining 48.5 seconds, the Warriors nailed two threes and the Sonics hit one. Golden State led 76-67 after three quarters.
Fortson's free throws were part of the 12-2 run in the third quarter, and he tried his damnedest to get the Sonics back into this one, nailing all six of his free throws in the fourth quarter. The Sonics kept flirting with some runs, but never got closer than six. Ray Allen drove and kicked out to Damien Wilkins for an easy basket with 4:22 left to make it 86-80. If the Sonics were going to make their last run, it had to be right there. Instead, the Warriors reeled off the next five points and it was all over but the shouting.
PEEK AT THE BOXSCORE
Ray Allen 27 pts/9 reb/5 ast/2 stl (10-27 FG, 6-15 3pt, 1-2 free throws, 42 min), Luke Ridnour 12 pts/2 reb/2 ast (4-12 FG, 1-4 3pt, 3-4 free throws, 28 min), Damien Wilkins 6 pts/2 reb/2 stl (3-10 FG, 0-2 3pt, 28 min), Reggie Evans 3 pts/3 reb/3 stl (1-7 FG, 1-2 free throws, 20 min)
Antonio Daniels 13 pts/5 ast (2-6 FG, 0-2 3pt, 9-9 free throws, 30 min), Ron Murray 13 pts/6 reb (6-17 FG, 1-4 3pt, 27 min), Danny Fortson 10 pts/8 reb (1-3 FG, 8-8 free throws, 21 min), Nick Collison 2 pts/5 reb/2 stl (2-2 free throws, 25 min)
Jerome James Watch
6 pts/5 reb/2 ast (4 fouls, 19 min)
shot 30-for-87 (34.5%) from the field, shot 8-for-27 (29.6%) from downtown, shot 24-for-27 (88.9%) from the line, were outrebounded 45-41, were beaten 29-11 on the fast break, were beaten 48-32 int he paint, turned the ball over 15 times (forced 20), bench outscored Warrior bench 38-33 (outrebounded them 20-8)
Ray Allen is shooting 40-for-110 (36.4%) in the last five games. Of course, this time nobody can blame it on him having the flu on a long road trip (later note Mon ~2:16a -- NO RASHARD). Allen and Murray combined for stellar 16-for-44 shooting in this game. Though not quite as important a part of the offense, Ron Murray is shooting 18-for-55 (32.7%) in the last five games.
I'd have to say one of the few positives about this game was the fact that Danny Fortson had a good Danny Fortson game. His production was much needed, or this one would have been much worse. Unfortunately, Nick Collison had his first off game in a long while, and that didn't help the Sonics' chances. Damien Wilkins also wasn't doing too great, at least not great enough for what we'd expect from someone in the starting lineup.
The only other positive I can think of is that the Sonics did get to the line 27 times. The negative was that it was mostly Antonio Daniels and Danny Fortson doing the damage. I'm sorry, I don't care if Ray Allen scored 27 in this one; if he's shooting 10-for-27 from the field, he should be getting to the line a hell of a lot more than twice. At least he has the free-throw line fallback, though, because Ron Murray doesn't. Murray's not great at all from the line; he's almost Reggie Evans bad.
Ugh. Just bad. Man, I hope Vladimir and Rashard get back soon, because this is starting to get dire. Shooting hot and cold is one thing, but sucking for entire games is another. They shot 34.5% in this game, just two games after shooting 39% against the Spurs. Can they shoot 48% just once? Soon?
I would have asked Jinkies if the Sonics will land on their feet like he does.