Allenís Buzzer-Beater Sinks Suns in 2OT
Seattle 152, Phoenix 149 (2OT)
PHOENIX, Jan. 22 (Ticker) -- Ray Allen provided a fitting finish to a frantic game.
In the highest-scoring NBA game in 11 years, Allen's 32-footer at the double-overtime buzzer gave the Seattle SuperSonics a wild 152-149 victory over the Phoenix Suns, who had a six-game home winning streak snapped.
"We had some great individual efforts and it was a great game," Suns coach Mike D'Antoni said. "They hit every shot."
The final tie came at 149-149 with 11 seconds left on a jumper by Raja Bell, who is known for his defense but made seven 3-pointers and scored 31 points.
The Suns appeared headed for their third triple-overtime game of the season before Allen buried his game-winner. After the Suns gave a foul with 2.5 seconds left, he took an inbounds pass high above the arc, dribbled once to the left and buried his long shot over Shawn Marion.
"When I was open I just knew that it was the time to make a shot," Allen said. "They were so worried about Rashard (Lewis) at the basket, nobody came with me. When they go under the screen, that is all I need to get the shot off. Having to dribble helped me establish rhythm. It felt like a normal shot. I didn't realize where I was, I just knew that I had to get it up."
"They set a double screen and I sent him high," said Bell, who was covering Allen most of the night and on the last play. "I switched with Shawn and I grabbed Lewis. Shawn did a good job of contesting the shot. We didn't want the shooter to necessarily be Allen, but you definitely want them shooting from eight feet above the 3-point line."
All eight of Allen's 3-pointers came in the fourth quarter and overtimes, when he scored 32 points.
"One thing about Ray Allen, at some point he is going to make shots," Seattle coach Bob Hill said. "The last play, both guys went with Rashard. Ray kept coming and was wide open. The play is not designed for that long of a shot. They just confused on the first screen, and with all of the guys in the league, I think I would rather have Ray take that shot. He was on a mission late. He got upset and he focused and had more determination late. He willed that ball into the basket."
"You can't appreciate how hard Raja was guarding him and how little time he needs to get the shot off," D'Antoni said. "That last shot was seven feet behind the line with Marion running at him."
The 301 points were the most in the NBA since Houston (147) and Dallas (156) combined for 303 on April 11, 1995.
Seattle had its highest total since scoring 154 in a five-overtime loss at Milwaukee on November 11, 1989. Phoenix posted its best total since scoring 153 at Denver on April 16, 1991.
Both teams shot well above 50 percent from the field and had six players in double figures. They combined for 32 3-pointers, including a season-high 18 from Phoenix. Five players went more than 48 minutes.
Offense was available to everyone. Sonics second-year teenager Robert Swift, making his first career start, scored a career-high 15 points.
Luke Ridnour had a career-high 30 points and 11 assists and Vladimir Radmanovic added 22 and 10 rebounds for Seattle, which shot 53.5 percent (54-of-101), including 14-of-29 from the arc. Lewis scored 17 points.
Marion had 37 points and 10 rebounds and Steve Nash added 28 and 16 assists for the Suns, who shot 51 percent (57-of-111), including 18-of-38 3-pointers. Leandro Barbosa scored 16 points and Boris Diaw 14 off the bench.
"At least we didn't go three overtimes," said D'Antoni, whose team trailed by nine points with less than five minutes left in regulation. "We started off sluggish but fought back and battled shot for shot."
Allen's fourth 3-pointer of the fourth quarter snapped a tie and gave Seattle a 123-120 lead with 1:31 remaining. But Nash made a jumper and Marion stripped Swift, going in for the go-ahead dunk with 15 seconds left.
Allen answered with another 3-pointer with 4.4 seconds to play before Nash flipped in a lefthanded layup with 1.6 seconds to go, forcing overtime.
Neither team led by more than three points in the extra sessions. Radmanovic's 3-pointer gave the Sonics a 136-134 lead with 1:32 remaining in the first OT, but Nash tied it with a jumper.
Swift and Marion traded jumpers in the final minute before the teams actually showed some defense. The Suns forced a 24-second violation before Ridnour stole the ball from Nash. Lewis tried to win it but had his baseline drive smothered by Marion.
"Nash is a great player, so to be able to get a chance to come back at him and get some pick-and-rolls feels great," Ridnour said.
Marion opened the second overtime with a 3-pointer, but a jumper by Ridnour and a 3-pointer by Allen gave Seattle a 143-141 lead.
Two free throws by Diaw gave the Suns a 147-145 edge with 1:24 to go. Baskets by Lewis and Radmanovic gave the Sonics the lead before Bell's jumper set the stage for Allen.