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Sonics rally from 15-point deficit for road victory

2/25/2002

TORONTO (AP) -- Even the return of Vince Carter couldn't stop
Toronto from losing again.

Brent Barry scored 23 points, Gary Payton added 22 and Rashard
Lewis had 21 as the Seattle SuperSonics beat the Raptors 101-92
Sunday for their sixth straight victory on the road.

Carter scored 28 points in his first game back from the injured
list. The Raptors, who went 0-7 without Carter, have lost eight
in a row to fall to .500 (29-29).

"I think Vince is still a little hurt," Barry said. "He's
trying to help this team out. He knows his team is struggling."

Carter, limping slightly with a strained left quadriceps, shot
11-for-27 from the field. He made five 3-pointers, but went to the
foul line just twice.

"I think he was trying too hard today," Payton said. "He's
been out seven games. He's got to get a feel for the game."

Morris Peterson added 20 points for the Raptors, who are on
their longest losing streak since a 13-game skid from March
20-April 12, 1998.

The Raptors made a season-low three free throws in six attempts.
Seattle went 17-for-22 from the line.

"I'm not giving any excuses," Carter said. "I tried to come
in and give my team another piece of the puzzle. It's hard to sit
and just watch my team play knowing I can help."

Jerome James added a career-high 18 points and 12 rebounds for
the SuperSonics, who have won five of six since Vin Baker went on
the injured list with three dislocated toes on his left foot.

"When we heard Vince was coming back we just thought we needed
to stick to our game plan," said Barry, who made four of six
3-pointers. "They were playing off emotion in the first half, but
we stayed consistent with what we were doing and we knew we had a
chance."

The SuperSonics, down by as many as 15 in the second quarter,
cut it to three by the start of the fourth as Payton scored 14
points in the third quarter.

Vladimir Radmanovic made a dunk and one of two free throws,
giving Seattle a one-point lead early in the fourth.

Barry later made a jumper, and James converted a three-point
play to give the Sonics a six-point lead with 6:18 left.

After Alvin Williams narrowed Seattle's lead to two with a
jumper, Barry made a 3-pointer and Lewis hit a free throw and a
jumper to give the Sonics an eight-point lead with 2:13 left.

Carter hit a 3-pointer, but Lewis made another jumper and Payton
made two free throws to make it 97-88 with 1:31 remaining.

After James' dunk gave Seattle a nine-point lead, Toronto's
Antonio Davis missed a jumper.

Raptors coach Lenny Wilkens said he thinks Carter will improve quickly.

"He had only one practice, and people expect miracles and that
will not happen," Wilkens said. "I guarantee the next game will
be better."

Toronto began the game on a 9-3 run that included a 3-pointer by
Carter. Payton's running layup gave Seattle a two-point late in the
first quarter, but Toronto followed with a 17-0 run to take a 15
point lead -- its biggest of the game.

Game notes
Hakeem Olajuwon (right quadriceps strain) also was activated from the injured list by the Raptors, who placed Tracy
Murray and Michael Bradley on the injured list. Olajuwon missed 11
games. Murray has back spasms. Bradley has a sprained right ankle.
... Canada's gold-medal winning hockey game against the United
States was broadcast over the videoboard before the game. Many in
the crowd of 19,800 brought Canadian flags. ... Davis had 16 points
and 12 rebounds. ... Payton had eight assists, and Barry had seven.