Lewis, Collison Lift Sonics Past Raptors
Seattle 126, Toronto 121 (OT)
TORONTO, Nov. 13 (Ticker) -- The struggling Seattle SuperSonics were on the verge of giving away a game to the winless Toronto Raptors until they were rescued by Nick Collison.
Collison scored two critical baskets in overtime to stabilize the SuperSonics, who blew a 10-point lead at the end of regulation but regrouped for a 126-121 victory over the Raptors.
"I think we should get two wins for that, we had to win it twice," Seattle coach Bob Weiss said. "(Toronto) didn't play like an 0-5 team tonight. Rashard was amazing, he was terrific. And Nick Collison gave us a great effort."
"I was just trying to concentrate on being out there for a while and not getting in to foul trouble," said Collison, who recorded his fifth career double-double. "We made a lot of mistakes to give up that lead late, but at this point we can't be too picky."
The Sonics led by 18 points early in the fourth quarter and still held a 113-103 bulge before the Raptors scrambled in the final 2 1/2 minutes to tie the game. Morris Peterson and Mike James buried 3-pointers to cut the deficit to 115-114, but the rally looked over when rookie point guard Jose Calderon threw away a pass.
Vladimir Radmanovic - who has publicly questioned the way Weiss has used him - made two free throws with 4.2 seconds remaining and Seattle fouled James before he could shoot a 3-pointer.
With 2.7 seconds to go, James made the first free throw and intentionally missed the second. Rookie Charlie Villanueva grabbed the rebound but missed the follow shot. However, Chris Bosh corralled that miss and put home a short banker at the buzzer to tie it.
"I thought our guys battled back and played hard," Toronto coach Sam Mitchell said. "The last play we needed Mike to miss, we put on a play that works maybe once a year and Charlie got the ball and Chris got in there and got a tip-in."
That gave the Raptors all the momentum going into overtime, but they never took the lead. James' layup was answered by a jumper by Lewis and a driving layup by Collison for a 123-119 lead with two minutes left.
Toronto's Jalen Rose had a driving layup and the teams traded empty possessions before Lewis threw up an airball on a drive that was hauled in by Collison, who scored as he was fouled with 5.9 seconds to play. His free throw sealed it.
"Rashard had (the ball) on the wing and I was just giving him space to play," Collison said. "I just went in for a rebound like I always do and it came right into my hands. It was a pretty simple play."
Ray Allen scored 19 points before fouling out and Ronald Murray added 16 for the Sonics, who shook up their lineup, starting Collison and French rookie Johan Petro at the big positions ahead of Reggie Evans and Vitaly Potapenko. Petro responded with 10 rebounds.
Lewis made 12-of-21 shots and 14-of-16 free throws. Seattle was 41-of-49 from the line.
"It would have been real bad for us if we didn't win," said Lewis, who scored the most points by a Sonic since Allen poured in 40 on March 25, 2005 against New York. "We can't really be satisfied just because of this win. We've got to go out there and beat a legit team - (Toronto) hasn't won a game yet. When we get to beating good teams, then we can start feeling good about ourselves."
James scored a career-high 36 points, the most from a Toronto point guard since Damon Stoudamire scored 36 on January 14, 1998 against the Los Angeles Clippers.
"It was all for naught," James said. "It doesn't matter how many points you score, the only thing that matters in this game are wins and losses."
Villanueva added 26 and 12 boards and Bosh had 21 and 11 before fouling out in overtime. Toronto (0-6) made 13-of-32 3-pointers.