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Sonics beat Clippers without Allen

10/31/2003

SAITAMA, Japan (AP) -- The Seattle SuperSonics learned that they
can win without Ray Allen. Mike Dunleavy learned it could be tough
trying to win as coach of the Los Angeles Clippers.

Rashard Lewis scored 25 points, and Ronald Murray had 24,
leading the SuperSonics past the Clippers 109-100 Thursday in
Dunleavy's debut as Los Angeles' coach.

Seattle made the trip to Japan without three-time All-Star guard
Allen, who has an injured ankle.

"We talked about the loss of Ray," Sonics coach Nate McMillan
said. "We didn't want anyone to come out and try to be Ray Allen.
I told the guys to go out and play their game.

"They did, and it was excellent."

Clippers forward Elton Brand sustained a hairline fracture in
his right foot during the season-opening loss and is expected to be
out four to six weeks, the team said Thursday.

Lewis made two 3-pointers in a third-quarter run that gave the
SuperSonics an 83-69 lead heading to the fourth.

The Clippers closed the gap to four points late in the final
quarter at Saitama Super Arena. With less than a minute to go,
Clippers guard Eddie House sank a 3-pointer, and Corey Maggette's
score made the margin four.

But Calvin Booth's dunk with 20.6 seconds left gave the Sonics a
six-point cushion they didn't relinquish.

House, a reserve, led the Clippers with 22 points. Maggette and
Brand each scored 21, with Brand grabbing 15 rebounds.

"Defensively, we didn't do a good job," Dunleavy said. "We
gave up too many offensive rebounds and had too many turnovers."

The coach was impressed with the way his team played in the
fourth quarter, when the Clippers scored 31 points.

"We made a good try in the fourth quarter," said Dunleavy, who
last coached in the NBA in the 2000-01 season with Portland. "But
we dug ourselves too big a hole."

It was the first of two games in Japan for the teams, neither of
which made the playoffs last season.

This is the sixth time the NBA has had regular-season games in
Japan; the last time was in 1999, when the Minnesota Timberwolves
and the Sacramento Kings played at Tokyo Dome.

After a sluggish first quarter, the two teams picked up the pace
in the second, with Brent Barry scoring 10 points in the period as
the Sonics took a 44-42 lead at halftime.

Barry, who had 15 points at the break and finished with 19
points and nine assists, got the crowd of 19,323 going with a
rim-rattling dunk in the first quarter.

"We'd like to take these fans back home with us," Barry said.
"I felt like I just needed to be aggressive. I told Rashard at the
break, 'I've done my job. Now it's time for you to do yours.' And
he really came through."

In addition to new coach Dunleavy, the Clippers have a revamped
roster after losing three of last season's starters: center Michael
Olowokandi, forward Lamar Odom and point guard Andre Miller.

Predrag Drobnjak started at center Thursday and had 11 points
and 10 rebounds. House led the Clippers with six assists, and Brand
had five.