Regular Season Series (Game 3 of 4)

Series starts 10/30

Game 1: Thursday, October 30th
Game 2: Friday, October 31st
Game 3: Saturday, January 24th
Game 4: Wednesday, April 14th

Clippers 97

(18-23, 4-12 away)

SuperSonics 102

(22-20, 13-9 home)

    Coverage: FSPI

    7:00 PM ET, January 24, 2004

    Key Arena, Seattle, WA

    1 2 3 4 T
    LAC 31 23 14 2997
    SEA 25 28 21 28102

    Top Performers

    LAC: E. Brand 26 Pts, 16 Reb, 4 Ast, 1 Blk

    Sea: R. Allen 41 Pts, 2 Reb, 5 Ast, 3 Stl

    'Less than 100 percent' Allen scores 41

    SEATTLE (AP) -- Ray Allen said he's still not feeling 100 percent. It was hard to tell Saturday night.

    Allen scored 17 of his 41 points in the fourth quarter and the Seattle SuperSonics took advantage of the Los Angeles Clippers' 4-for-19 3-point shooting in a 102-97 victory.

    Allen missed the first 25 games of the season after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his right ankle to remove a bone chip.

    "I still believe I'm feeling the aftereffects of my surgery because my body still hasn't acclimated itself to the schedule," the three-time All-Star shooting guard said. "I try get as much rest as I can when I can.

    The Clippers hung close at the end by making their last three 3-point shots in the final 1:40, two of them by Corey Maggette.

    The Sonics beat the Clippers for the third straight time this season, following two season-opening wins over Los Angeles in Japan in October.

    Allen shot 14-for-23, including 6-for-10 from 3-point range, in finishing one point shy of his season best. Rashard Lewis, who had a career-high 50 points against the Clippers in the second game in Japan, added 15 points and Antonio Daniels came off the bench to score 14 for the Sonics.

    Allen's career high is 47 points.

    The Clippers got 26 points and 16 rebounds from Elton Brand, 25 points and 10 rebounds from Maggette and 22 points from Quentin Richardson.

    Brand had 20 of his points in the first half and attempted just three shots in the second half, none in the fourth quarter.

    Sonics coach Nate McMillan credited Vitaly Potapenko, who has played sparingly this season, with stopping Brand in the second half.

    "He did a good job, he did a very solid job," McMillan said. "Jerome (James) and Calvin (Booth) had trouble guarding (Brand). He basically shut that guy down. He really saved us on the defensive end."

    Potapenko, who played 22 minutes, was happy to get a chance to play.

    "You have to be ready, it's as simple as that," Potapenko said.

    Brand said Allen, not Potapenko, was the reason why the Sonics won, though.

    "Ray Allen was unbelievable," he said. "He was on fire today. We didn't trap him well enough and he hit some big shots."

    Maggette said the Clippers knew the Sonics would try to beat them from the outside. The Sonics hit 11-of-25 3-point shots.

    "Seattle is one of the best shooting teams in the league," he said. "It's hard to beat teams when they're shooting so well at home."

    After Richardson hit a 3-pointer with 1:40 to go to bring the Clippers to 94-88, Los Angeles had the ball and a chance to whittle the lead even further. But Richardson was called for an offensive foul by running over Daniels with 1:13 left, and the Sonics hung on.

    The Clippers led 60-55 before Seattle went on an 11-0 run with 3-pointers by Allen, Brent Barry and Lewis and a baseline jumper by Allen to take a 66-60 lead with 5:49 left in the third. The Sonics led 74-68 heading into the fourth.

    The Clippers led 54-53 at halftime behind 20 points from Brand, including a three-point play with 2.1 seconds remaining.

    Allen connected on three 3-pointers in the final 4:22 for Seattle.

    Game notes

    McMillan said he had to cut Allen's practice time after he scored 13 points on 4-for-14 shooting against Golden State on Thursday night. "He looks a little fatigued," McMillan said. "He looks like he has heavy legs." McMillan said opponents have been focusing on Allen and assigning their top defensive player to him. ... The Clippers got five consecutive rebounds on one possession before Richardson sank a 15-footer with 2:51 gone in the second half, drawing boos from the home crowd. ... The Clippers outrebounded Seattle 48-34.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press