CHICAGO (AP) -- Until this season, Ronald "Flip" Murray was
considered a throw-in as part of the high profile Ray
Allen-for-Gary Payton trade between Milwaukee and Seattle.
Now, through eight games, he's one of the NBA's top scorers.
"Don't anybody really know me. You could say it's a surprise,"
Murray said Saturday night after leading the SuperSonics to their
sixth win of the season, 98-90 over the Chicago Bulls.
With Michael Jordan sitting at midcourt four rows off the floor
and clapping for his former team, the Bulls couldn't contain
Rashard Lewis, who led Seattle with 27 points, or Murray, who had
Jalen Rose led Chicago with 19 points as the Bulls fell to 1-6
Seattle, playing its fourth game in five nights, made 13 of 27
shots from 3-point range, including five by Murray.
Murray, who has scored at least 20 in seven of the Sonics' eight
games, had 15 points in the third quarter, hitting four 4-pointers
-- three straight at one point -- as Seattle went up by seven.
"I had a lot of open looks, a lot of open shots. Fortunately I
knocked some down," said Murray, who entered the season averaging
"I had a little rhythm going off double teams that got me open.
We got more open shots in the second half. I believe we wore them
down by running and filling lanes and having the floor open."
When Brent Barry hit Seattle's sixth 3-pointer of the quarter
and then fed Lewis for a dunk on a break, the Sonics pushed the
lead to 10.
The Bulls rallied within a point on Rose's jumper with just
under six minutes left, but Calvin Booth hit a jumper, Jerome James
converted a three-point play and Lewis took another pass from Barry
for a layup and a 94-84 lead with four minutes to play.
Not even the presence of Jordan, who visited the Chicago locker
room after the game, could pump up the Bulls.
"Yeah, you'd think it would inspire us. The greatest player
ever. But it didn't," Chicago's Tyson Chandler said.
Chicago's Lonny Baxter was ejected with 9:08 left in the second
quarter after he was assessed a flagrant foul for hitting Seattle's
Antonio Daniels in the face on a fast-break drive, knocking Daniels
into the basket support.
Vladimir Radmanovic added 19 for Seattle, which finished
3-1 on a tough four-game road trip to Milwaukee, Minnesota, Indiana
and Chicago. ...Bulls guard Jamal Crawford, who took a horrifying
spill and landed on his neck in Thursday night's game against the
Timberwolves, is expected to miss at least two games. He didn't
come to the United Center for Saturday's game because he is still
stiff and the Bulls didn't want him sitting on the bench. All tests
were negative and the injury, which came as Crawford fell over
Minnesota's Fred Hoiberg, is being called a sprained neck.
"Considering the blow he took, he's in pretty good shape," Bulls
coach Bill Cartwright said. ... Chandler, who'd missed four
straight games with a bruised lower back, returned to action but
didn't start. He scored 15 and had 11 rebounds. Cartwright also
revealed that Eddie Robinson has a small fracture in his right
thumb, but it doesn't prevent him from playing. ... Jordan got an
ovation when he left his seat just before halftime and headed to a
restaurant just off the floor. Before entering, he rubbed the head
of former teammate and current radio commentator Bill Wennington
and gave former Bulls coach Johnny "Red" Kerr a hug.