One week ago, the Seattle SuperSonics were suffering through the longest losing streak in franchise history. Now they're on the verge of their longest win streak in nearly two years.
The Sonics go for their fourth straight victory Monday when they host the Chicago Bulls.
Seattle (12-35) has struggled throughout this season after trading last season's leading scorers Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis, and its problems were particularly evident during a franchise-record 14-game skid from Dec. 31-Jan. 27.
The Sonics, though, ended the slide by beating defending NBA champion San Antonio 88-85 on Tuesday, and followed that with a 101-95 victory over reigning Eastern Conference champion Cleveland on Thursday.
On Saturday, the Sonics overcame 39.5 percent shooting to defeat New York 86-85 for their season-high third straight win. They haven't won four in a row since April 2-9, 2006.
"The more you do something, the better you get at it," Sonics coach P.J. Carlesimo said. "We're still not where we need to be, but there's a lot of good signs. We need to continue to get better."
Rookie guard Kevin Durant led Seattle with 21 points against the Knicks, but shot just 7-for-21 from the field. His final field goal, however, was a tiebreaking 3-pointer with 59 seconds remaining.
"When I don't make my shots, I was taught to be aggressive, keep shooting," said Durant, who was 19-for-35 (54.3 percent) in the Sonics' previous two wins.
While Durant struggled, Chris Wilcox delivered his third straight double-double after recording just one in his previous 15 games. Wilcox had 20 points and 10 rebounds Saturday, and is averaging 18.0 points and 11.0 boards while shooting 59.0 percent from the field during Seattle's win streak.
"We're playing 48 minutes now," said Wilcox, who has led the Sonics to a 7-4 record when he reaches double digits in points and rebounds. "Earlier in the season, we just kind of gave up in the last couple of minutes."
The Sonics will put their win streak on the line against the Bulls (18-28), who have lost four of five while battling injuries.
Chicago got a boost from the return of guard Ben Gordon on Saturday, but fell 105-101 at Sacramento. Gordon, who had missed the previous five games with a wrist injury, scored 15 of his 33 points in the fourth quarter. He made a 3-pointer with 4:57 left that gave Chicago a 95-92 lead, but the Bulls made just one field goal the rest of the game.
"We played good enough to win, but couldn't get it done," said point guard Kirk Hinrich, who had 18 points. "In the second half we just were not aggressive. We struggled to find baskets at the end of the game. All the losses have been frustrating."
Forward Luol Deng remains sidelined with left Achilles' tendinitis that has kept him out of 10 of the team's last 15 games, including six in a row.
Chicago will try to get back on track as it tries for its fourth straight victory over Seattle, which had won 10 of the previous 12 meetings.
The Bulls were three points shy of their season high in a 123-96 win over the Sonics on Dec. 11 in Chicago. Gordon had 27 points on 12-for-19 shooting, while Durant went 5-for-10 from the field and led Seattle with 16 points.
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