The Seattle SuperSonics opening their season with eight straight losses is only mildly surprising. The Miami Heat being only one win better is far more shocking.
The winless SuperSonics hope to avoid their first nine-game losing streak in 35 years when they continue a five-game road trip against the last-place Heat on Wednesday night.
After losing three home games by a combined 13 points last week, the SuperSonics (0-8) were unable to even stay close Tuesday in a 103-76 loss at Orlando. They trailed by 14 after one quarter and 29 entering the fourth.
Nick Collison scored a season-high 15 points and rookie Jeff Green added 12, all in the second quarter, with a team-best seven rebounds as Seattle lost its 13th in a row stretching back to April 7.
The 0-8 start this season is the worst in franchise history and the Sonics' first eight-game skid since Feb. 4-19, 1987. They last dropped nine in a row from Oct. 29-Nov. 15, 1972.
Seattle is one of three remaining winless teams but Minnesota and Golden State have only played five games.
Heralded rookie Kevin Durant continued to struggle from the field as Seattle shot a season-worst 34.4 percent. The second overall pick didn't make his first field goal until the second half, and finished with 10 points on 4-of-13 shooting.
"I'm just playing basketball,'' Durant said. "The spotlight is coming from the media - I try not to get into that. I just want to play basketball and try and get better and help my team get better.''
Durant is shooting 29.6 percent (21-of-71), including 3-of-19 from 3-point range, in his last four games.
Green, meanwhile looked tentative in his first few games but has been much more confident lately. The former Georgetown star is averaging 16.0 points on 51.5 percent (17-of-33) from the field and 6.3 rebounds in his last three games.
"I'm pleased with both our guys,'' Seattle coach P.J. Carlesimo said of the rookies. "Obviously tonight, Jeff was better. Both of our guys are coming along.''
While Seattle finished 31-51 and missed the playoffs for the second straight year in 2006-07, Miami (1-6) won its third straight Southeast Division title, one season after winning the franchise's first championship.
The Heat, though, have looked nothing like a playoff contender without star guard Dwyane Wade, who is still recovering from offseason knee and shoulder surgeries.
Two nights after recording their first win of the season at New York, Miami's dismal offense faltered again in a 91-76 loss Tuesday at Charlotte.
Heat coach Pat Riley didn't hold back when asked what he could do to help.
"Me? Play. I guarantee you I should suit up. I'd play better than some of them right now,'' he said. "I guarantee it. I swear to God. With an old hip and 62-years-old and I can't see, I'll play better than some of my guys tonight. Come on, they were pretty bad.''
Shaquille O'Neal had 17 points on 7-of-14 shooting, but the other four starters combined for only 24 points on 9-of-34 from the field.
"We've got to make shots,'' said Wade, who watched from the bench. "One person is not going to save us.''
Miami, averaging a league-worst 83.2 points, is off to its worst start since opening 2003-04 with seven consecutive losses.
The Heat have won four straight against the SuperSonics, who haven't won in the series since Jan. 9, 2005.
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