SACRAMENTO, Calif., May 1 (Ticker)
-- Ray Allen
Seattle SuperSonics all the way back.
Allen scored 15 of his playoff career-high 45 points in the
fourth quarter as the SuperSonics stormed back from a 19-point
deficit to stun the Sacramento Kings, 115-102, and take a
commanding 3-1 lead in their Western Conference first-round
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The third-seeded SuperSonics broke the mold of the first three
games, which had seen the losing team fall behind by at least 19
points and stage a rally that came up short. Seattle can wrap
up its first postseason series victory since 1998 with a win at
"I thought we were just solid defensively the second half,"
Sonics coach Nate McMillan
said. "You've got to make stops. Ray
carried us on the offensive end of the floor. We had a few big
plays that kept the momentum for us. But it just came down to
getting defensive stops. Tonight we were able to stop them and
go down and score."
"I told the team let's just do the simple things and get back in
this game," Allen said.
The Sonics found themselves trailing, 41-22, early in the second
quarter and on the verge of getting run out of raucous Arco
Arena. Allen silenced the sellout crowd with a brief barrage
that began the comeback and scored 11 points in the third
quarter as Seattle closed to 84-80 entering the final period."
Allen opened the fourth quarter with a jumper and added a pair
of 3-pointers and a lefthanded layup before a banked 3-pointer
by Antonio Daniels
gave Seattle a 95-88 lead with 7:32
"When he's carrying the team on his back you've got to give him
the ball and be his outlet, but the way he played tonight was
unbelievable," Sonics forward Rashard Lewis
said. "It didn't
matter if he had a man in his face or not. This is one of those
special nights that will go down in playoff history. I know I'm
gonna always remember it. I'm sure he will, too."
"(Allen) had a great night," Kings forward Kenny Thomas
"He was the deciding factor in the second half."
The Kings began shadowing Allen but could not dent the deficit.
A free throw by Mike Bibby
made it 104-98 with 1:27 to play
before Allen dribbled left to right around the arc and fired a
3-pointer on the move over 6-11 Brad Miller
that beat the shot
clock and gave the Sonics a 107-98 lead with 62 seconds left.
Allen made 17-of-28 shots, including 6-of-14 3-pointers, and
handed out six assists as he eclipsed his previous high of 41
with Milwaukee vs. Philadelphia in Game Six of the 2001 Eastern
Lewis ended his slump with 19 points and Jerome James
his surprising series with 17 and nine rebounds for the Sonics,
who shot 53 percent (39-of-73) and made 28-of-30 free throws.
"I think the biggest, most important thing was our rebounding,"
Allen said. "Jerome and Nick (Collison
) got some big rebounds
toward the end of the game and that's where we got the
scored 27 points to lead six players in double
figures for the Kings. Guard Mike Bibby
had another poor
shooting game, making just 4-of-17 from the field. But he
certainly wasn't alone; after shooting 52 percent (27-of-52) in
the first half, Sacramento wilted to 28 percent (10-of-36) in
the pivotal second half.
"It was a tough loss, especially at home," Stojakovic said.
"We've got to give Seattle credit. They made a lot of tough
shots, especially Ray Allen."
"We still have life," Bibby said. "Nobody on this team is going
to lie down. We have to get (the next one)."
Stojakovic scored 11 points in the first quarter as Sacramento
closed with a 16-4 run and opened a 31-20 lead. A follow shot
by Corliss Williamson
made it 41-22 just over two minutes into
the second period.
Allen scored eight points in a 22-6 run that cut the deficit to
47-44 with 4:50 left in the first half. But Seattle got lazy on
defense and Sacramento rebuilt the lead to 68-56 at halftime,
making it look like a replay of the first three games.