SEATTLE, Dec. 26 (Ticker) -- Ronald "Flip" Murray
was the spark the
Seattle SuperSonics needed off the bench.
Murray scored 18 of his 29 points in the third quarter as the
SuperSonics earned a much-needed 118-111 home victory over the
NBA TV highlights from |
matched his season high with 43 points on 13-of-25
shooting and 16-of-21 free throws for Boston, which fell to 2-9
on the road.
Starting guard Luke Ridnour
was ill and did not play in the
second half, opening the door for Murray, who took full
advantage of his 32 minutes on the floor, making 10-of-15 shots
and 7-of-10 free throws.
"I had a chance to go out there and play more tonight," said
Murray, who finished two points shy of his career high point
total. "I think a lot of stuff opened for me because they were
collapsing a lot on Ray (Allen) and Rashard (Lewis)."
Murray's performance may have been even more impressive if he
did not suffer two dislocated fingers late in the fourth
quarter. X-rays were negative and he will be re-evaluated
"Ronald Murray was just fantastic," Seattle coach Bob Weiss
said. "He had 29 points, five assists and two dislocated
"He (Murray) was great," Boston coach Doc Rivers said. "He made
big shots. He's a shot maker. He's capable of doing that."
Murray's jumper with 2:56 to go in the third capped a 26-7 run
and gave Seattle an 82-71 advantage. Finishing with 22
second-half points, Murray was responsible for 12 points during
With the game tied at 105-105, Murray converted a three-point
play that put Seattle ahead for good with 3:40 remaining.
hit a pair of 3-pointers to pull the Celtics to
within 112-111 with 1:44 left, but Pierce missed a jumper and
the Sonics put away the game at the foul line.
Lewis finished with 21 points for Seattle, which had six players
in double figures. Allen scored 18 despite shooting just
3-of-13 from the floor, including 0-of-7 from the arc.
"Every time I play against Boston they jump pick-and-rolls hard
and force the other team's main scorers to give the ball up,"
Allen said. "You've got to trust your other guys to step up and
make plays and tonight Flip was the guy who made plays for us."
The Sonics won for just the second time in their last seven home
games, relinquishing several fourth quarter leads during that
stretch. They led by nine in the opening minute of the fourth
quarter Monday, but the Celtics battled back to take a brief
97-96 lead with 7:57 left in the game.
"Our main conversation in the locker room was finishing the game
in the fourth quarter," Lewis said. "We have got to finish it
and make sure we get these wins. They came back, but we kept
our composure and kept playing."
had 16 points and 10 rebounds, Reggie Evans
and eight and Danny Fortson
added 12 and seven for the Sonics,
who held a 20-7 advantage on the offensive glass.
"The difference in the game was that their bigs just manhandled
us," Rivers said. "Thirteen extra shots (from the offensive
rebounds) makes it tough to win."
collected 20 points and seven assists, Mark Blount
finished with 14 points and West and Marcus Banks
had 12 apiece
for Boston, which lost to Seattle for just the second time in
Despite his big scoring night, Pierce, who took 25 shots,
thought he should have had even more opportunities down the
"Guys have to step up and understand that the focus is on me,"
he said. "When I have it going, you have to look for it. I
thought a couple of times we went out on our own and wasted
possessions. It's a learning experience and this team is still