Allenís 38 Rallies Sonics Past Wolves
Seattle 107, Minnesota 96
SEATTLE, March 10 (Ticker) -- No matter how many shots Mark Blount made, Ray Allen had an answer.
Allen scored 12 of his 38 points in the fourth quarter as the Seattle SuperSonics withstood Blount's hot shooting to post a 107-96 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Kevin Garnett added a long jumper with 6:43 left to keep Minnesota's advantage at four points before Allen answered with a three-point play to make it 88-87. Blount finally had a miss on the other end, and with it, the Timberwolves began to fall apart.
"I thought we had a good effort until about a two-minute stretch when Ray (Allen) just went crazy," Minnesota coach Dwane Casey said. "He hit some tough shots and some tough threes." Earl Watson buried a 3-pointer on the SuperSonics' next possession and Allen hit from the arc to give Seattle the lead for good, 95-92, with 4:24 left.
It marked the Sonics' largest lead of the game to that point. They trailed the entire second quarter and led for just 23 seconds in the third. "At halftime I let them have it for the whole halftime," Sonics coach Bob Hill said. "We didn't really change anything in terms of our defense, or change anything on offense. It was about forcing their will on the game."
Chris Wilcox and Robert Swift scored back-to-back hoops before Allen hit the last of his four 3-pointers with 2:29 remaining for a 102-94 lead. "The way we played in the last game (a 99-74 loss to Memphis on Wednesday), it was just a difference in attitude," Allen said. "We started the first half tonight with that same muddy approach. We were lethargic and really didn't have any enthusiasm and we got chewed out at the half."
The 20-year-old Swift, the Sonics' first-round draft pick in 2004, scored all nine of his points in the fourth quarter on 4-of-4 shooting. "I felt pretty good," said Swift, who had been battling some injuries of late. "I struggled in the first half, but came back in the second half."
Allen was 13-of-26 from the floor in his 17th 30-point game this season. Rashard Lewis chipped in 15 points and the Sonics got excellent production from their bench. Watson had 12 points and a season-high 10 assists and combined with Swift, Damien Wilkins and Mikki Moore to give Seattle a 32-15 advantage in bench points.
"Earl came in and changed the game," Casey said. "He has the speed and the ability to push the ball after makes and misses. He pressured full court and did all the things that you want your point guard to do."
Blount had one more miss down the stretch as Seattle finished the game on a 23-8 run. Garnett finished with 21 points and 11 rebounds and eclipsed the 17,000-point mark for his career with a basket that pulled Minnesota into a 92-92 tie.
Ricky Davis and Marcus Banks combined for 31 points for the Timberwolves, who lost their fourth straight road game and fell to 0-2 on a six-game trek.