Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 2)

Series starts 11/16

Game 1: Wednesday, November 16th
Game 2: Monday, December 26th

Celtics 111

(11-15, 2-9 away)

SuperSonics 118

(12-14, 8-8 home)

    7:00 PM ET, December 26, 2005

    Key Arena, Seattle, WA

    1 2 3 4 T
    BOS 23 32 28 28111
    SEA 17 33 40 28118

    Top Performers

    Boston: P. Pierce 43 Pts, 5 Reb, 5 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

    Seattle: R. Murray 29 Pts, 1 Reb, 5 Ast

    Sonics overcome Pierce's 43, top Celtics at home

    SEATTLE (AP) -- The Seattle SuperSonics wish they could get the same production every night from their bench.

    Led by Ronald Murray's season-high 29 points, Seattle's bench sparked a second-half rally and the SuperSonics beat the Boston Celtics 118-111 on Monday night.

    The Sonics' reserves outscored their own starters 63-55, and held on in the closing moments despite 43 points from Boston's Paul Pierce.

    "I think we came out tonight more focused the last couple of minutes," Murray said. "They made a run on us and took our lead away, but we just came together toward the end."

    Murray was outstanding in the second half, going 8-of-10 while filling in for the ill Luke Ridnour. Murray scored 18 in the third quarter and Nick Collison scored six of Seattle's last nine points as the Sonics won at home for just the second time in their last seven games.

    The victory may have come at a cost for Seattle. Murray dislocated a joint on the middle and ring finger of his shooting hand in the closing minutes battling Boston's Ricky Davis for a loose ball. X-rays were negative for a fracture and he will receive further evaluation on Tuesday.

    "I came off a lot of screen-and-rolls and they were collapsing so much ... on the post that it left me open for some shots," said Murray, who was in some pain in the locker room afterward.

    With the game tied at 105, Murray converted a three-point play with 3:40 left, followed by a free throw from Damien Wilkins and a follow by Collison for a 111-105 Seattle lead.

    Delonte West answered with consecutive 3-pointers for Boston, sandwiched around Wilkins' free throw for a 112-111 Seattle lead. Pierce missed a chance to give Boston the lead with 1:29 left and Rashard Lewis made two free throws. West then missed a 3-pointer with 58 seconds left and Collison was fouled on the rebound and made both free throws.

    Boston missed its final two shots and Pierce went scoreless over the final 3:58 and took just two shots. He shot 13-of-25 and was 16-of-21 at the free throw line.

    "It's a team game. Guys have to step up and understand that the focus is on me. When I have it going you have to look for it," Pierce said. "I thought a couple of times we went out on our own and wasted possessions."

    Pierce tied his season high and was the first player to score 40 or more points against Seattle this season. Kobe Bryant was the last, scoring 42 on April 8. Pierce finished five shy of his career high.

    Seattle put six players in double figures. Lewis was quiet after scoring 10 in the first quarter and finished with 21. Ray Allen added 18, but struggled through a 3-of-13 shooting performance.

    Collison finished with 16 off the bench, Reggie Evans scored 14 and Danny Fortson added 12, all in the first half.

    "It was a total team effort tonight, especially the bench. They gave us the energy in the second half," Lewis said. "We need consistently guys like that to come in, when the starters aren't rolling or me and Ray aren't rolling, and give us a little bit of help and keep us in the game."

    Davis scored 20 for Boston, which fell to 2-9 on the road and had a modest two-game win streak broken. Mark Blount scored 14, and West and Marcus Banks both had 12.

    Seattle put together a 24-5 run in the third quarter behind the unlikely combination of Murray and Evans, as the Sonics scored a season-high 40 points in the period.

    Boston took its biggest lead at 66-58, but then Evans and Murray scored 20 of the next 24 points. Murray hit Seattle's first 3-pointer with 7:54 left in the quarter, added another two minutes later, and aggressively attacked the basket.

    Evans scored on the low block and showed surprising range, hitting a couple of 15-foot jumpers. While Seattle's offense suddenly clicked, Boston missed eight of 10 shots during seven minute stretch.

    "We finished strong and that was the main thing," Evans said.

    The Celtics didn't go away, going to a small, speedy lineup that frustrated the Sonics. Boston rallied for a 97-96 lead with 7:57 left on Davis' 3-pointer, the Celtics first of the game.

    Game notes

    Celtics G Tony Allen was listed as questionable for making his season debut before the game, but was inactive. He is recovering from right knee surgery. ... Lewis and Evans scored 16 of Seattle's 17 first quarter points. ... Brian Scalabrine, a native of Enumclaw, Wash., didn't check in until 57 seconds left for Boston.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 111 118
    FGM-FGA 41-78 (.526) 39-81 (.481)
    3PM-3PA 4-12 (.333) 2-18 (.111)
    FTM-FTA 25-35 (.714) 38-50 (.760)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 7-31 20-49
    Assists 27 20
    Turnovers 12 13
    Steals 4 7
    Blocks 4 3
    Fast Break Points 11 7
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 36 (1/0) 27 (1/0)
    Largest Lead 8 11

    Top Performers

    Paul Pierce Pierce
    Points: 43
    Reb: 5
    Ast: 5
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 1
    Ronald Murray Murray
    Points: 29
    Reb: 1
    Ast: 5
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 0