SuperSonics Outlast Suns in a Shootout
Seattle 116, Phoenix 114
SEATTLE, April 9 (Ticker) -- Ray Allen again illuminated against the Phoenix Suns.
Allen scored 23 of his 30 points in the second half as the Seattle SuperSonics extended their winning streak to a season-high four games with an electric 116-114 victory over the Suns.
A 3-pointer by Steve Nash gave the Suns a 107-99 lead with 6:01 remaining. But Wilcox scored in the lane and Allen buried a shot from the arc to trigger a 17-7 surge to close the contest.
Allen, who made just 2-of-6 shots in the first half, drilled a 3-pointer from the left corner with 24 seconds to go to give the Sonics a 116-114 lead. The sharpshooter made 5-of-7 shots and scored 12 points in the final period.
"It's the time of the game when the game is decided," Allen said about the fourth quarter. "A lot of plays factor into the outcome of the game, but the fourth quarter is when the shots have to be made."
"He's a big time player for us," Wilcox said. "That's what Ray does. Down the stretch, he led us to victory."
In four games against the Suns this season, Allen averaged 32.8 points.
"You just try to play him," Suns coach Mike D'Antoni said. "He's just a great player. He does it every night. I thought Raja Bell did a great job on him overall. He's just one of those players that you're not going to stop."
After Allen gave the Sonics the lead, Nash missed a jumper and Boris Diaw was denied on a drive to the basket in the final seconds.
Raja Bell scored 23 points, Diaw had 22 and 12 rebounds and Shawn Marion scored 22 for Phoenix (50-26), which lost for the third time in four games but clinched its second straight Pacific Division title when the Los Angeles Clippers lost to the Los Angeles Lakers. The Suns lead the Clippers by six games and both teams have six to play, but the Suns own the tiebreaker by way of a better division record.
"We've been in the same position for a long time so it's not helping our motivation, but that's no excuse," said Nash, who had 13 points and 11 assists. "We're a bunch of professionals and we should be finding our own motivation every night.
"If we don't change our attitude and commitment throughout a game, we're really setting ourselves up for the harsh realities that we've seen, that we're a sub .500 team in the last 17 games."