Allen, Ridnour Lead Sonics Past Nets
Seattle 113, New Jersey 104
SEATTLE, Jan. 28 (Ticker) -- Ray Allen and Luke Ridnour had more help than Richard Jefferson and Vince Carter.
Sparked by Allen and Ridnour, the Seattle SuperSonics overcame a big game by Jefferson and Carter's return to the lineup en route to a 113-104 over the New Jersey Nets, who went winless on their four-game road trip.
"(In the) second half, I felt Ray Allen and Luke Ridnour were really special," SupersSonics coach Bob Hill said. "We have to be pleased we got the win."
Seattle nearly squandered a 15-point third-quarter lead but made all the clutch plays down the stretch.
The Nets twice got within one point in the fourth quarter, the final time at 93-92 on Carter's driving layup with 5:10 remaining. However, the Sonics scored on five straight possessions in a decisive 12-6 surge.
"Everybody was to blame," Jefferson said. "You have a chance to win on the road in the last 10 possessions and you don't get any stops, that's what it comes down to."
Rookie Johan Petro started the run with a follow dunk and Allen, who made 13-of-20 shots, drilled a 3-pointer and scored on a drive. Ridnour's three-point play with 2:42 remaining provided a 105-98 advantage.
Rashard Lewis added 15 points and Robert Swift 14 and 12 rebounds for the Sonics, who placed all five starters in double figures in their third win in four games.
"That was huge," Ridnour said of Swift's performance. "He's such a big body and he's so athletic. The confidence (he's gained) and to see him grow is cool."
"The two young kids (Swift and Petro) were great," Hill said. "If they continue to build on what they're doing, we're going to be a changed team."
Jefferson scored a season-high 36 points and Carter - who missed Friday's loss at Portland with sore back - added 29 in 43 minutes for New Jersey, which completed a dismal 0-4 West Coast trip. The Nets are 2-10 against the Western Conference this season.
"It was a very winnable trip considering we'd already beaten three of the teams at home," Jefferson added. "It was the same as the last big road trip when we went out west. You want to go out on the road and play well and we haven't been able to do that."
Jefferson and Carter combined to make 24-of-39 shots. The rest of the Nets went just 15-of-46.
Things may get tougher Tuesday when the Nets host league-leading Detroit (36-5).
"It doesn't get any easier," Nets coach Lawrence Frank said. "We are going home to play the best team in basketball. That's the beauty of this league, you do it on a nightly basis and we can keep trying to get better."
Kidd made a woeful 1-of-10 shots and scored five points in 35 minutes.
"I had good looks, I just couldn't get going," Kidd said. We just couldn't get stops."
With Kidd unable to get going, the Nets managed just 13 fast-break points.
"The big thing is, we didn't give them too many transition points," Ridnour said. "He's so good in the transition. I think they were a little bit tired, they've been on a long stretch of games in the road, so it's good when you can beat those teams like that."
A follow shot by Swift gave the Sonics their biggest lead at 72-57 with 5:52 left in the third quarter.
But Jefferson scored six points and Nenad Krstic five of his 18 as the Nets closed to 83-76 entering the final period.
Vladimir Radmanovic added 11 points for the Sonics, who shot 53 percent (42-of-79) and held a 42-38 rebounding advantage.