SEATTLE (AP) -- The Seattle SuperSonics insist they're not going
to quit when they get far behind this season.
Ray Allen scored a season-high 34 points and the Sonics overcame
a 21-point deficit late in the third quarter to beat the Memphis
Grizzlies 118-113 on Sunday night.
"It's a 48-minute game and we've talked about that," coach
Nate McMillan said after watching his team outscore the Grizzlies
34-13 in the final period. "We just wanted to get slowly back into
the game, get a stop and score, get a stop and score. That's
exactly what we did."
The Sonics won their sixth consecutive game after an
opening-night loss to the Los Angeles Clippers. The loss dropped
the Grizzlies, a 50-victory playoff team last season, to 2-5.
The Sonics came back to win after trailing 94-73 with 3:50 left
in the third period.
Allen scored 11 of his points in the final quarter, when Seattle
erased a 100-84 deficit.
Antonio Daniels had 28 points, including 11 in the last quarter,
for the Sonics, while Pau Gasol topped the Grizzlies with a
season-high 25. Rashard Lewis had 14 points and 12 rebounds for
The Sonics missed the playoffs for the second straight year last
season with 37 wins. They were last in the NBA in rebounding last
season. They outrebounded the Grizzlies 33-27 and are averaging 8.1
more rebounds than their opponents this season.
They still don't have a dominant inside player.
"We can't prevent that," McMillan said when asked about the
perception that the Sonics are a soft team. "But the past is the
past and this is a new year."
The Sonics tied the score at 107 on an 18-footer by Daniels with
3:33 left before Mike Miller made an 18-footer to give Memphis the
lead. His free throw with 2:43 remaining gave his team a 110-107
Allen tied it again with a 3-pointer with 2:11 left, then Gasol
gave the Grizzlies their last lead at 111-110 with a free throw
with 1:52 remaining.
Allen drove into the key and made an 8-footer to put Seattle
ahead for good at 112-111. The Sonics went 6-for-6 from the foul
line in the final seconds to ice it.
Allen, a four-time All-Star, shook his head at the Sonics'
"I don't know, you guys tell me how we won that game," he told
reporters. "I'm still asking myself that question."
Allen modestly gave the credit for Seattle's victory to Daniels,
whose short jumper with 7.2 seconds left gave the Sonics a
one-point win over Toronto on Friday night.
"A.D. hit a lot of big shots for us," Allen said. "He's just
been playing great for us down the stretch in games."
Seattle grabbed a 10-point lead at 16-6 on an alley-oop dunk by
Allen before Memphis came back, taking a 27-25 lead on a 3-pointer
by Brian Cardinal in the final minute of the first quarter.
The Grizzlies led by 13 points five times in the second period
and were ahead 71-61 at halftime.
Memphis coach Hubie Brown said his team let a victory get away.
"We should have won the game," he said. "But you've got to
give them credit. They scored on 22 out of their last 29
possessions. They executed and made their foul shots."
Lorenzen Wright of the Grizzlies said the Memphis players were
to blame for the loss.
"We have to play hard for all four quarters," he said. "In
the fourth quarter, everything went haywire for us."
Memphis set a franchise record by scoring 42 points in the
second quarter. Its previous high for a quarter was 41 against the
Chicago Bulls in the first quarter March 12, 2003.
The Sonics played without F Danny Fortson, who was
suspended for one game without pay by the NBA on Sunday after a
foul in Friday night's game against Toronto was upgraded to a
flagrant. Fortson threw an elbow to the head of F Chris Bosh.
McMillan said Fortson, who has played a key role in his first
season with the Sonics with his physical play, would have to be
more aware that the league was watching him. "We want him to play
aggressive basketball, but we want him to be smart," McMillan
said. "Danny has to know." Fortson is averaging 9.2 points and
7.8 rebounds in his eighth NBA season.