Lewis, Allen Help Sonics End Skid
Seattle 104, Charlotte 94
SEATTLE, Nov. 30 (Ticker) -- Rashard Lewis set the tone before Ray Allen provided the closing kick.
Lewis enjoyed a big first half and Allen carried things late as the Seattle SuperSonics snapped a three-game losing streak with a 104-94 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats.
Coming off Saturday's loss to the New Orleans Hornets in the opener of a five-game homestand, the Sonics led virtually the entire way in one of their most complete performances of the season.
Sonics coach Bob Weiss emphasized to his team after the loss to the Hornets that they must improve their defense. For one night, Weiss got his wish as the Sonics held the Bobcats to 44 percent (33-of-75) shooting and forced 19 turnovers.
"I thought our defense paid off a little bit," Weiss said. "Your fast break works when your defense works. That's what fuels it. We got steals. (We) caused 19 turnovers and we only had 11. I thought that was huge because we did get a lot of our points off of that."
"This win was very important to us," Lewis said. "You don't want to go on any type of losing streak, especially when you are playing teams you feel like you should beat."
Lewis scored 11 points on 5-of-6 shooting in the first quarter and collected 19 of his 27 points in the first half as the Sonics built a 56-46 lead.
"I was just trying to be aggressive and make sure we stayed in the game," Lewis said. "I thought we played better defense tonight. We still gave up 94 points, but we were more aggressive. When you play good defense, you get easy baskets."
Allen made sure the Sonics kept the lead as he scored 22 of his season high-tying 32 points in the second half. The sharpshooter made 11-of-23 shots, including 4-of-9 3-pointers.
After the Bobcats clawed within 63-60 with 7:16 left in the third quarter on Primoz Brezec's jumper, the Sonics used a 9-0 run to rebuild the lead to double digits. Allen drilled a 3-pointer in the burst that Reggie Evans capped with a dunk.
"You feel like any team in this league can make a run," Allen said. "They've got NBA players and it's not like we're not going to see their best in the third and fourth quarters, so we've got to be able to withstand it."
The Bobcats again pulled within single digits in the fourth quarter, but Allen provided the dagger by hitting a 3-pointer while nearly falling into the Charlotte bench for a 97-85 advantage with 4:17 left.
"The one that broke our back was the 3-pointer with the clock running down and two guys on him (Allen)," Charlotte guard Brevin Knight said. "He is fading away towards out of bounds and he makes that three. That's what All-Stars do. They (Allen and Lewis) came out and played like All-Stars and led their team."
Luke Ridnour collected 14 points and 12 assists and Evans pulled down 13 rebounds for the Sonics.
Brezec scored a season-high 21 points, Kareem Rush added 20 and Knight contributed 18 and 11 assists for Charlotte, which fell to 0-2 on a four-game road trip. Knight was ejected with 26 seconds remaining after picking up his second technical foul.
"It gets down to the fact that we turned the ball over and we got 13 points off the bench," Bobcats coach Bernie Bickerstaff said. "I keep searching and searching to try to find some way to solidify what's coming off the bench. In back-to-back games when guys play 40 minutes and 37 minutes, that's an awful lot."
Charlotte's bench may be getting thinner. Backup center Jake Voskuhl suffered a sprained right ankle in the second quarter and did not return.