SEATTLE, Jan. 30 (Ticker) -- Zach Randolph
and the Portland Trail
Blazers made Nate McMillan
's return to the Emerald City a
Randolph scored 32 points and was part of a relentless assault
on the offensive glass as the Trail Blazers used a strong fourth
quarter for a 116-111 victory over the Seattle SuperSonics.
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scored 15 points and Ruben Patterson
added 14 off the
bench for Portland, which had a season high in points as it
reached triple figures for just the fourth time this season but
won for the sixth time in nine games.
"We came off a poor performance and these guys came out and did
what we asked of them," McMillan said. "They were pumped for me
and I thought the guys were really playing this game for me."
Known as "Mr. Sonic," McMillan was a player and coach in Seattle
for the better part of two decades. He is second in franchise
history in assists and steals and had a 212-183 record as coach.
However, the Sonics did not offer McMillan an extension last
season as he was guiding the team to an unlikely Northwest
Division title. In the offseason, Portland outbid Seattle for
During pregame introductions, there was a video tribute on the
scoreboard for McMillan, who received a standing ovation.
"It was definitely strange coming back and as the game got
closer my heart started beating faster," McMillan said. "But it
was nice to see the fans and I thought the guys responded to
what we worked on in practice. I would be lying if I said it
wouldn't be special."
The young Trail Blazers are experiencing growing pains under
McMillan, whose team is learning how to win. Portland came in
with a 4-15 road record, worst in the Western Conference.
But the Blazers left with a win thanks to Randolph, who made
14-of-24 shots as he worked over the frontcourt of the Sonics.
Things got so bad that Seattle coach Bob Hill
used Reggie Evans
who had played just 33 minutes over three games since January
"We got shots contested, but we just got manhandled, I think,
for the first time," Hill said.
"We talked about establishing a game in the paint," McMillan
said. "I thought we got away from that the last couple of
games. And we really wanted to go to Zach and Ruben and Theo
(Ratliff) in the paint. They made good decisions and when
Seattle was double-teaming they moved the ball and we were able
to score from the perimeter. Part of the game plan was to
control the boards and limit those guys to one shot, and we did
"I wanted to come out and be aggressive," Randolph said. "I had
had two bad games in a row and I didn't want to make it three.
I know the game was important for him (McMillan)."
Portland took the lead for good at 86-84 on a jumper by former
Sonic Patterson with 11:10 to play. Seattle still was within
92-89 after a basket by Ray Allen
before Randolph scored four
points in an 8-0 spurt, opening a 100-89 lead with 4:10 left.
A follow shot by Patterson maintained the margin before Allen
sank consecutive 3-pointers to make it 104-99 with 1:16
remaining. Randolph answered with a follow shot, one of
Portland's 20 offensive rebounds.
"We could never plant our feet defensively and get a stop," Hill
said. "Most of the time, when it really hurt us, it was the
second shots. We'd get them to miss and then we just couldn't
get the rebound."
The Sonics closed to 106-101 on a runner by Luke Ridnour
fouled rookie Jarrett Jack
with 45 seconds to go. Jack missed
both free throws, but Ratliff snared an offensive rebound
on the second miss, and the Blazers made 10-of-10 foul shots in
the final 40 seconds.
had 13 points and eight boards for Portland,
which shot 52 percent (44-of-85) and improved to 4-0 when
scoring at least 100 points. The Blazers had 29 second-chance
"I look at how we got beat and I thought the hustle points and
the energy points were all gauged through offensive rebounds,"
Allen said. "I thought in the second half they got so many
second-chance opportunities they could really run. It just
seemed like they were going up our guys' backs. When you don't
get any offensive rebounds and they start going the other team's
way, it's almost like a snowball effect."
scored 27 points, Allen added 26 and Ridnour 14
and 10 assists for the Sonics, who shot 51 percent (43-of-84)
but were outrebounded, 47-33.
Lewis scored 20 points in the first half but was limited
thereafter by Patterson, who is known for his defense.