Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 4)

Series starts 11/20

Game 1: Sunday, November 20th
Game 2: Saturday, December 10th
Game 3: Tuesday, March 21st
Game 4: Tuesday, April 18th

Kings 104

(4-6, 1-4 away)

SuperSonics 106

(5-5, 3-1 home)

    Coverage: CSNS

    6:00 PM ET, November 20, 2005

    Key Arena, Seattle, WA

    1 2 3 4 T
    SAC 36 27 25 16104
    SEA 25 32 30 19106

    Top Performers

    Sac: P. Stojakovic 25 Pts, 4 Reb, 3 Ast, 1 Stl

    Sea: R. Allen 28 Pts, 4 Reb, 7 Ast, 1 Stl

    Sonics make free throws late, down Kings

    SEATTLE (AP) -- The smack was so loud, it could be heard the entire length of the KeyArena floor -- and all the way back to Sacramento.

    The Kings had been leading the Seattle SuperSonics the entire game and by as many as 11 points in the first half. Now they led by five, 66-61 with 10:09 left in the third period. Seattle center Danny Forston, getting a rare start because Johan Petro was in the hospital because of dehydration from the stomach flu, slapped Kings All-Star Peja Stojakovic across the back of his right hand.

    Stojakovic had 25 points on 9-for-10 shooting at that point. But as he grimaced his way to the bench and a trainer applied tape to his palm and wrist, near an already sprained pinkie, Sonics All-Star Ray Allen took off.

    Allen exploited Stojakovic's replacement, Kevin Martin, to lead the Sonics to their third straight victory, 106-104 over the thinned Kings on Sunday night. Allen finished with 28 points, scoring 19 of his 21 second-half points after Stojakovic was hurt.

    "I like to think I am a fourth-quarter player," Allen said.

    Mike Bibby made a 3-point shot with 16.2 seconds left to bring the Kings to 105-104. Allen answered with a free throw. Then Bibby stayed on the perimeter during the game's final possession -- choosing to play for the win instead of the tie. He missed an open, 26-foot shot from 3-point range with 1.9 seconds to go to end his team's first loss in three games.

    "I just took a shot regardless of a 2 or a 3," Bibby said. "I was just trying to make it go down."

    Kings coach Rick Adelman said of the final sequence: "We had opportunities to drive, I thought. But it didn't happen."

    Stojakovic, the key to the Kings' makeover season, took only three shots after the smack -- and missed them all. But he managed to throw a pass the length of the court with his left hand for a fourth-period assist.

    He had X-rays taken after the game, after which a team doctor told him the injury appears to be a "slight sprain." He is not sure if he will play Monday night at home against San Antonio.

    "I couldn't feel my hand at that point," Stojakovic said of Fortson's slap, while holding a candy bar in his wrapped and swollen right hand.

    "I wasn't able to shoot. I wasn't able to feel the ball."

    Rashard Lewis got an in-his-face look at Stojakovic's 25 first-half points trying to defend him, including on the 3-pointer Stojakovic made in the second period with his legs splayed and Lewis forcing him into the sideline, 24 feet away from the basket.

    Lewis said Fortson's slap was indeed fortuitous for the Sonics.

    "He wasn't as aggressive," Lewis said. "You could tell his hand was bothering him."

    Allen's wasn't.

    He was just 2-for-9 shooting in the first half on what he called "some easy shots." Then came the five-time All-Star's clinic on Martin, in his second-year from Western Carolina. Allen's 3-pointer over Martin with 2:20 remaining in the third period gave Seattle its first lead, 82-79.

    There also was a Seattle bench clinic. Reserve Vladamir Radmanovic, who earlier this month had complained about his lack of playing time, scored a season-high 17 points for Seattle. Third-year point guard Luke Ridnour equaled his career high in assists set last week by getting 13. And Damien Wilkins added 10 points keep the Sonics close until Allen got going.

    The Seattle bench outscored Sacramento's reserves 39-9. That made Stojakovic's injury even more important -- to both teams.

    Sonics first-year coach Bob Weiss said the reserves' uprising is what makes him think his team is finally adjusting to his more open, less-structured offense than the one taskmaster predecessor Nate McMillan controlled over the previous five seasons.

    Seattle had lost four of its first five games under Weiss -- including consecutive road losses by 25, 27 and 41 points.

    "Our support guys are helping us," Weiss said. "It gives me a few more tools.

    "And we needed all those tools tonight."

    Game notes

    Seattle plays six of its next seven games at home, where they are 3-1 this season. ... All nine of the Kings' bench points came from Kenny Thomas. ... Weiss said Petro, who had started seven of the Sonics' first nine games, entered a hospital Sunday morning and may return to the team Monday.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 104 106
    FGM-FGA 40-72 (.556) 40-84 (.476)
    3PM-3PA 8-14 (.571) 12-32 (.375)
    FTM-FTA 16-22 (.727) 14-17 (.824)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 7-38 12-36
    Assists 28 29
    Turnovers 19 14
    Steals 8 12
    Blocks 3 3
    Fast Break Points 8 15
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 17 (0/0) 23 (1/0)
    Largest Lead 13 5

    Top Performers

    Peja Stojakovic Stojakovic
    Points: 25
    Reb: 4
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 0
    Ray Allen Allen
    Points: 28
    Reb: 4
    Ast: 7
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 0