SEATTLE, Dec. 11 (Ticker) --
The Boston Celtics gave the Seattle
SuperSonics a shot of their own medicine.
scored 22 points to lead a balanced attack as the
hot-shooting Celtics dealt the frigid SuperSonics their first
home loss of the season, 98-84.
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Former Sonic Gary Payton
added 21 points for Boston, which had
seven players with at least nine points and shot 54 percent
(39-of-72) from the field, winning for the first time on its
five-game road trip.
"This was a great win for us," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said.
"We played just great basketball. I don't know if we've played
any better this year."
Seattle had shot its way to a 17-3 mark, matching Phoenix for
the best record in the NBA. The Sonics came in shooting 45
percent from the field, including a league-best 40 percent from
However, Seattle also was coming off a pair of emotional road
wins over San Antonio and Dallas and clearly was off its game.
The Sonics shot under 33 percent (28-of-86) overall and 5-of-26
from the arc.
"We got looks, we just didn't knock our looks down," Sonics
coach Nate McMillan said. "And we had (14) more attempts than
, one of the best shooters in the game, made just
5-of-23 shots, missing all 10 3-pointers. Fellow guard Luke Ridnour
"Our guards tonight, between Ray and Luke, were 6-for-34,"
McMillan said. "Ray is not going to have 0-for-10 from the
three type shooting nights."
"I just kept shooting," Ridnour said. "I've been hitting those
shots and this was one of those games where they don't fall."
The Sonics scored just 28 points in the second half, when the
Celtics took the lead for good. Power forward Danny Fortson
the only Seattle player to score in the last seven minutes, and
when he fouled out with 1:58 left, the Sonics were done.
Rookie Tony Allen
scored eight of his 12 points in the fourth
quarter and Mark Blount
added 11 for the Celtics, who improved
to 1-3 on their road trip, which ends Monday against the Los
"We needed this win in a major way and we did the job," Pierce
said. "Hopefully we can just go ahead and finish off this road
trip on a positive note."
scored 19 points and Fortson and Ray Allen added
16 apiece for the Sonics, who were the last remaining unbeaten
home team, having won their first nine games at KeyArena.
The third quarter was a microcosm of the game. Boston made
10-of-16 shots while limiting Seattle to 4-of-17 shooting and
taking a 75-69 lead into the final period.
"We match up well with them," Pierce said. "They have guys that
are versatile and can play a lot of positions and I think we
are the same. We were able to match up with them and take
pressure off our big guys."
After a basket by Tony Allen extended the lead to 81-70, Fortson
put the pressure back on, taking control of the paint. He
scored nine points over the next six minutes as the Sonics
closed to 87-84 with 3:09 to go.
But Seattle did not score again. Ricky Davis
made a free throw,
Tony Allen had a follow slam, Payton made a free throw and Tony
Allen sank two foul shots and dunked again.