Lewis-Less Sonics Roll Over Trail Blazers
Seattle 122, Portland 83
SEATTLE, April 2 (Ticker) -- The Seattle SuperSonics had no need for Rashard Lewis against the Portland Trail Blazers.
Ray Allen scored 20 of his 24 points in the first half as the SuperSonics overcame the absence of their second-leading scorer with a resounding 122-83 victory over the reeling Trail Blazers.
"Everything came together defensively," said Sonics coach Bob Hill, whose team has given up an NBA-worst 106 points per game. "They talked. They rebounded. We got deflections. We contested shots. Our defense was clearly the best it's been all season long."
Damien Wilkins, who replaced Lewis in the starting lineup, scored eight of his 20 points in the first four minutes as the Sonics opened a 12-5 lead.
"I didn't know Rashard wasn't going to start," Wilkins said. "So I just went out and tried to be aggressive and do the things I know I can do. We were down on defense and everybody was doing a great job."
The Blazers closed within 18-13 four minutes later, but Robert Swift added seven points in an 18-6 burst that pushed the lead to 36-19 after the first quarter.
Allen took over in the second period as the Sonics pulled away. The All-Star scored 18 points in the session on 5-of-6 shooting, including three 3-pointers, helping Seattle to a commanding 67-35 edge.
"Everybody needs a game like this especially after two consecutive losses," said Sonics forward Chris Wilcox, who scored 18 points on 6-of-12 shooting. "It looked like they may have laid down a little bit, but it's the NBA. You can come out and be dominated and tonight was a dominant night for us."
The Sonics shot 65 percent (26-of-40) in the half while holding the Blazers to to 33 percent (13-of-39) shooting. Seattle led by as many as 43 and never really were challenged in the second half.
"Seattle came out and did what they had to do," said Portland coach Nate McMillan. "They were the aggressors for 48 minutes. We just had no fight in us at all. We just got whipped tonight."
Sebastian Telfair and rookie Martell Webster scored 14 points apiece for the Blazers (20-53), who have won just four games since January 30.
"We're all frustrated," said Portland center Joel Przybilla, who blocked a career-high nine shots. "Anytime you are losing, it's not fun. We've just got to stick together and continue to work and finish the season out strong and that's pretty much it."