Hot Shooting, Strong Defense Lead Sonics
Posted Nov 6 2006 1:50AM
By TIM BOOTH
``I don't know what went through their psyche. Maybe Bob Hill jumped up and down on a chair and did something foolish in his locker room that got them inspired,'' Jackson said.
Nope, the possibility of falling to 0-3 got Seattle inspired enough.
Ray Allen scored 32 points, and the Sonics picked up their first victory of the season with a 117-101 win over the Lakers on Sunday night.
Seattle avoided its first 0-3 start since 1985 and picked up a needed victory with a five-game East Coast road trip starting Tuesday in Miami.
And the Sonics looked very little like the team that gave up 118 points to the Lakers on Friday night.
``They've been playing hard, but they haven't been competing, and that's a collection of a lot of little things,'' Hill said of his team. ``I thought they did more of those little things. We played together awfully well.''
The Sonics were allowing 114 points and 55 percent shooting in their first two games, continuing a trend from last season when they were the worst defensive team in the league. But the focus of Seattle's training camp finally emerged on Sunday. The Lakers shot 49 percent and turned the ball over 22 times.
Seattle hit 12 3-pointers and outscored Los Angeles 66-41 in the middle two quarters. Seattle reached the 100-point mark on Allen's 3-pointer with 10:29 left in the fourth, overcoming a sluggish start and showing its expected offensive potency.
``That's how we've been wanting to play. We've been in the last couple of games, but we haven't played that good,'' Ridnour said. ``The second quarter got us going and we were able to carry it over to the third quarter.''
In his second game since knee surgery, Kobe Bryant led the Lakers (3-1) with 15 points, but was just 4-of-10 from the field. He added nine assists and was assessed a technical foul in the fourth quarter.
The Lakers failed to improve to 4-0 for the first time since 2003, when they opened 5-0. Bryant scored 23 points in his season debut on Friday against the Sonics, but never found an offensive rhythm this time. At one point in the third quarter, Bryant threw an errant pass for a turnover, slapped his forehead two or three times running back down court, then committed a foul.
``I don't think we're concerned,'' Jackson said of Bryant. ``Now it's about finding his timing and getting his rhythm so offensively he can contribute.''
Bryant was given a technical foul with 5:18 left for throwing the ball against the base of the basket after Brian Cook was called for a foul. Bryant indicated afterward he was unaware of the league's new emphasis about technicals for reactions after the whistle.
``Actually, the time that they had the meeting, I was doing rehab,'' Bryant said. ``They surprised me with that one.''
Held scoreless in the fourth quarter on Friday, Allen scored Seattle's first 12 points of the fourth before Lewis' two free throws with 3:52 left. Seattle led by 26 late in the third quarter.
Rookie Jordan Farmar scored 14 off the bench for the Lakers. Lamar Odom, who was averaging 28 points in the Lakers' first three games, took just six shots and scored 11 points. Andrew Bynum scored all of his 13 points in the first half.
``We've got to recognize what's going on offensively. We've got to execute; get the ball into guys in scoring position,'' a frustrated Odom said.
Notes: Jackson coached his first road game of the season, after missing the Lakers' road opener last Wednesday against Golden State following hip surgery. ... The Sonics honored 16 players at halftime that were selected by fans to be a part of their 40th anniversary team. Among those selected were Lenny Wilkens, Nate McMillan, Shawn Kemp, Gary Payton, Xavier McDaniel, Spencer Haywood, and current players Allen and Lewis. Kemp received the loudest cheers and said he's headed to Italy next month to play for a team in Rome.
Copyright 2006 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited