Allenís Clutch Trey Lifts Sonics Past Spurs
Seattle 106, San Antonio 102
SEATTLE, March 26 (Ticker) -- Just when the Seattle SuperSonics became unraveled against the defending champions, Ray Allen came to the rescue.
Allen scored 20 of his 33 points in the second half, including a go-ahead 3-pointer with 5.4 seconds remaining, as the Seattle SuperSonics posted a 106-102 victory over the San Antonio Spurs.
Playing at KeyArena for the first time since last season's Western Conference semifinal series victory, San Antonio relinquished an 11-point third-quarter lead and trailed, 100-93, with 2:20 remaining.
But Robert Horry hit a 3-pointer to ignite a 9-0 spurt that gave the Spurs the lead. Bruce Bowen followed with a short jumper with 1:45 to go and - after Luke Ridnour committed a turnover - Manu Ginobili hit a layup in traffic to forge a 100-100 tie.
Tony Parker forced a turnover and drained a running one-hander with 39 seconds on the clock to make it 102-100. Horry came up with a steal but fell out of bounds with 13 seconds remaining to give the Sonics a chance.
"We just needed to call a timeout," San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said. "You can never put that in the referee's hands. It should've been a timeout."
Allen used a screen from rookie Johan Petro and drained his fifth 3-pointer over Duncan to put Seattle ahead for good. Petro was able to swipe the ball from Duncan at the other end and Rashard Lewis made 3-of-4 free throws down the stretch to seal the victory.
"Tonight was a Sonic effort," Allen said. "I made the shot, but the bigs made a lot of plays down the stretch that kept us in it."
"It's great because they're the defending champions," Seattle forward Chris Wilcox said. "We went at them hard and did what we had to do to win this game. It came down to the stretch. They got a run and down the stretch we got big buckets."
Although almost a year has passed since the playoff matchup, the animosity between Allen and Bowen remained. Midway through the second quarter, Bowen was charged with a technical foul for kicking Allen as the two were on the floor.
"I don't mind a guy going at me at both ends of the floor, I can respect that," Allen said. "But when guys start throwing elbows and when they kick you when you're down, that's dirty basketball and I don't respect guys like that."
Duncan scored 13 points in the first half as the Spurs built a 46-42 lead.
"I made some shots and, lucky enough, got to the line and was making free throws," said Duncan, who managed just six points in Friday's win at Portland. "It was a good night for me shooting the ball, but the difference in the game was the mistakes made down the stretch."
Ginobili added five of his 17 in a 10-2 spurt that pushed the advantage to 61-50 with 6:35 left in the third period.
However, Luke Ridnour and Ray Allen combined for 20 of Seattle's next 24 points as the Sonics drew even, 74-74, entering the final quarter.
Ridnour scored 19 points, Lewis 16 and Chris Wilcox 14 for the Sonics, who shot 52 percent (39-of-75) from the field and 10-of-16 from the arc.
"They spread the floor really well and then Ray hit some shots," Duncan said.
Parker had 17 points an 12 assists for the Spurs, who fell to 1-2 on a five-game road trip.