Seattle 99, Charlotte 85

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Nov. 10 (AP)-- Adam Morrison's debut as a starter turned into a night of frustration.

Ray Allen scored 26 points and Rashard Lewis added 19 of his 21 in the second half to lead the Seattle SuperSonics to a 99-85 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats on Friday night, spoiling Morrison's first NBA start.

Morrison, the No. 3 pick in the draft, was just 3-of-12 against the team from his home state as he started in place of the injured Raymond Felton. The former Gonzaga star missed all three of his shots in the decisive third quarter, including a layup on a fast break during Seattle's 9-2 run early in the period that put the Sonics ahead to stay.

He managed only nine points and one rebound and failed to get to the free throw line.

``Right now, I'm not doing my job,'' said Morrison, who is shooting 35 percent on the season. ``I'm getting good shots, good lucks, I'm just not performing right now. I'm letting my team down. I'm not hitting my floaters. I'm not even hitting my layups.''

Lewis, who was 0-for-2 from the field in the first half, scored 11 points in the third quarter, when the Sonics outscored the Bobcats 35-19 to erase a four-point deficit.

Lewis said a halftime speech by coach Bob Hill fired him up.

``He kind of jumped on my case a little bit,'' Lewis said. ``The game was pretty close, but he didn't like our attitude and our facial expressions.

``In the first half, every time I caught the ball they were coming with a double team. In the second half, it didn't seem they were coming as fast and I got a lot more shots.''

Chris Wilcox had 12 points and 13 rebounds for Seattle, which overcame 18 turnovers to win on the road for the first time in four tries.

Emeka Okafor had 20 points, 15 rebounds and three blocks, while Brevin Knight added 19 points for the Bobcats before he was ejected.

But Morrison never could get on track, missing a variety of long and short jumpers and runners. Coach Bernie Bickerstaff kept him on the bench for the first seven minutes of the final quarter. When he finally sent him to the scorer's table, the crowd responded with a sarcastic cheer. But Morrison's next made shot came in the final minute as he failed to score in double figures for the first time.

``I'm playing the majority of the minutes at the wing spot and I can't seem to put the ball in the basket,'' Morrison said. ``I had three floaters that went in and out. It's not the ball, it's not the basket, it's not the coach. It's me.''

Allen, who was 4-of-6 from 3-point range, thinks Morrison will turn things around.

``He can definitely play,'' Allen said. ``He's just going to learn as each game goes by. It's also tougher when you have to guard somebody on the floor. It does take away from your offense.''

The Sonics, who won just 13 road games last season and were coming off a last-second loss in Orlando on Wednesday, were never threatened in the final quarter, building a 17-point lead.

The Bobcats, who shot 40 percent, led by as many as six points in the first half behind Okafor, who had his third double-double. But the Bobcats, who lost their second straight, faded in the third quarter once the Sonics got the ball to Lewis, who was 6-of-10 in the second half.

``The third quarter set basketball back 20 years,'' Bickerstaff said. ``It was putrid. It was just awful.''

Knight, who moved over to point guard to replace Felton, added seven assists, but was ejected with 2:21 left after referee David Guthrie hit him with consecutive technical fouls.

``Every call made against our team, he made,'' Knight said of Guthrie. ``The other refs made good calls. Anything else that was called, the bad calls, he made.''

Notes: Seattle rookie center Mouhamed Sene was inactive for the game and Hill indicated the first-round pick could be sent down to the NBDL. ``I'm fearful Mo is sliding the other way,'' Hill said. Sene is 0-for-3 from the field in three games. Newly signed Andreas Glyniadakis was active for the first time and did not score in two minutes. ... With the NBA suspending assistant coach John-Blair Bickerstaff two games Friday for driving while impaired, the Bobcats were a short a man on the bench. ``We just all pitch in. He's still able to be with us at practice,'' Bernie Bickerstaff said.


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