Wilkinsí Career Night Lifts Sonics Past Hawks
Seattle 99, Atlanta 91
SEATTLE, Feb. 10 (Ticker) -- Damien Wilkins emulated his famous uncle in crunch time to help the Seattle SuperSonics end their slide.
Wilkins scored 11 of his career-high 26 points in the final 5:16 of the fourth quarter as the SuperSonics ended their four-game losing streak with a 99-91 victory over the Atlanta Hawks.
"I think Damien Wilkins deserves lots and lots of credit for this one," Sonics coach Bob Hill said.† "I was a little surprised that he scored so many points, but I wasn't surprised in his effort or his defense.† That's what a guy in his position is supposed to be ready to do."
Wilkins' scoring outburst was made more important by the fact that Seattle was without star Rashard Lewis, who left the game after the first quarter because of a bruised right thigh.
The Hawks used a 12-2 burst to take an 83-78 lead with 8:07 remaining, but the Sonics responded by scoring 16 of the game's next 19 points.
Ray Allen, who scored 22 points, started the barrage with a 3-pointer before Robert Swift tied the game, 83-83, with a follow shot at the 6:26 mark.
"When I heard that (Lewis) wasn't going to come back in I had to continue to do what I do and focus more on getting my teammates involved," Allen said.† "There is scoring left out on the table and (forward) Nick Collison and Damien seized the opportunity."
Collison finished with 17 points and a career high 15 rebounds while center Swift added 13 rebounds and six points.
Wilkins scored the next 11 points for Seattle, which never trailed after his jumper made it 85-83.
"The coach put me in position and called plays for me and I was just trying to make things happen," Wilkins said.† "I was really just creating offense off of defense for the most part."
Al Harrington, who scored 26 points, ended the surge with a 3-pointer that cut Atlanta's deficit to 94-89 with 2:06 to go. The Hawks had a chance to get within one possession on a 3-on-1 fast break, but rookie Salim Stoudamire fumbled a pass out of bounds and Atlanta never threatened thereafter.
"Coming down the stretch we've got to make plays," Hawks coach Mike Woodson said.† "That was a big play that we didn't complete.† We had a 3-on-1 and he lost the ball out of bounds and they came down and capitalized on it."
Atlanta's leading scorer, Joe Johnson, was held to just 10 points on 4-17 shooting, but he did contribute a team-high 11 assists.
"I thought he had his normal looks," Woodson said.† "He just didn't make his shots and that happens in this league."
Atlanta's Josh Childress tied a season high with 17 points off the bench on 6-of-9 shooting.
"This was definitely a winnable game for us," Childress said. "(The fourth quarter) is when we are supposed to tighten down and we didn't."