MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- Despite an off-target night from their
shooters, the Seattle SuperSonics remained one of the NBA's
Rashard Lewis scored 27 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, and Ray
Allen added 20 points Wednesday as the SuperSonics defeated the
Memphis Grizzlies 93-84.
The win was Seattle's 11th in the past 12 games.
Seattle, which never led in a poor-shooting first half, started
connecting in the third period. The Sonics were 14-of-22, including
3-of-4 from 3-point range, to build a 14-point lead.
"I thought our guys responded well to an average first half,"
Seattle coach Nate McMillan said. "...I like the fact (we) really
wanted this game. I saw that in the third quarter. (The Grizzlies)
threw everything at us in the first half, but in the third quarter,
I saw a team that just wanted to win."
Memphis mustered a comeback early in the fourth, holding Seattle
scoreless for more than five minutes. But Memphis could get no
closer than 82-80 with six minutes left, as the Grizzlies shot only
2-of-11 in the final minutes.
"There were many times we were point blank range in the
paint," Memphis coach Hubie Brown said. "You've got to get those
shots. That was hard to handle.
"I thought three quarters we played them terrific. One bad
quarter, and they get the points up."
With starters Pau Gasol (sprained right ankle) and James Posey
(sore left foot) out, and reserve Stromile Swift wearing a patch to
protect his scratched left cornea, Memphis was shorthanded.
Shane Battier, who suffered a cut above the left eye in the
first half, led the Grizzlies with 12 points, while Lorenzen
Wright, Bonzi Wells and Mike Miller scored 10 points each.
"I don't know what happened," Battier said. "I thought we had
good shots when we were down two points. If we make some of those
shots down low, we put even more pressure on them, and maybe we go
on a run at the end."
Despite the tough first half, the Sonics stayed close, trailing
47-45 at the break. Seattle managed only 34 percent shooting,
including Allen hitting only one of his seven shots.
"I don't think we ever thought we were out of the game," Allen
said. "It was a situation where they were playing tough, and we
were trying to get out and get our second wind."
Allen finished 4-of-15, hitting only one of his six shots from
The Grizzlies seemed in better shape early, making the best out
of their makeshift lineup. Ball movement led to dunks, and Memphis
pushed the ball in transition.
But poor shooting in the final minutes of the half allowed
Seattle to pull close.
A dunk by Lewis to open the second half made it 47-47. Allen's
bucket on the next possession gave Seattle its first lead. Seattle
shot 9-of-11 in the first six minutes, building the advantage to
Seattle carried a 78-68 lead into the fourth period.
Memphis coach Hubie Brown said here is no timetable for the
return of Gasol, Posey or Swift. ...Battier's cut eyebrow came when
he was caught by Reggie Evans' elbow while battling for a rebound
in the second quarter. He immediately left the court. After getting
six stitches to close the wound, he started the second half.
...Allen suffered a sprained left ankle with 9:35 remaining in the
fourth, but returned about three minutes later.