Final

Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 4)

Series starts 12/29

Game 1: Thursday, December 29th
SuperSonics112Final
Nuggets105
Game 2: Sunday, February 12th
Nuggets120Final
OT
SuperSonics112
Game 3: Friday, March 24th
SuperSonics104Final
Nuggets117
Game 4: Wednesday, April 19th
Nuggets98Final
SuperSonics109

SuperSonics 112

(13-15, 5-7 away)

Nuggets 105

(14-16, 9-6 home)

8:30 PM ET, December 29, 2005

Pepsi Center, Denver, CO

1 2 3 4 T
SEA 27 31 24 30112
DEN 25 36 24 20105

Top Performers

Seattle: R. Allen 39 Pts, 5 Reb, 3 Ast, 1 Stl

Denver: C. Anthony 32 Pts, 4 Reb, 2 Ast, 4 Stl

Allen, Lewis lead Sonics past depleted Nuggets

DENVER (AP) -- Denver's altitude and the Nuggets' fast pace suited Seattle guard Ray Allen just fine.

Allen made eight 3-pointers and scored a season-high 39 points and Rashard Lewis added 27 in Seattle's 112-105 victory over the short-handed Denver Nuggets on Thursday night.

"The shots were there for me tonight," Allen said. "Damien (Wilkins) did a pretty good job of letting the play develop. All we did was try to take what their defense gave us. A couple of times they left me open and I took the shot. A lot of times Rashard was left open."

Allen said the old-fashioned, back-and-forth game that featured 21 lead changes was pure fun.

"It was a little more tiring because of the altitude here," he said. "We all felt it a little bit, but it definitely gets you in shape."

Allen logged a game-high 44 minutes and ran the Nuggets ragged at their own game.

"Ray was in his zone. I've been on the good side of that and tonight I was on the bad side," said Nuggets coach George Karl, who used to coach Allen in Milwaukee. "He had a special rhythm going and I know many shots he just shot over the top of us."

Allen shot 8-of-14 from beyond the arc.

"I've never seen anybody shoot like that," Carmelo Anthony said. "There is really nothing you can do about it."

The Nuggets got 32 points from Anthony, but he managed just two -- on free throws -- in the final 18 minutes after Wilkins started guarding him.

"I played Carmelo the same way I played LeBron or Paul Pierce. I wore them down," Wilkins said. "I knew I wasn't in foul trouble so I played him tight. I denied him the ball and kept my body on him as much as I could. Didn't let him freelance and try and test his endurance. It took his toll the end of the game."

Before Wilkins shut him down, Anthony was well on his way to his fourth 40-point game this month.

"We never could get Carmelo back in the game tonight," Karl said. "They were switching and crowding him, really double-teaming him. Never could punish them with a 3 or weakside basketball."

Denver was handicapped without forward Marcus Camby, who underwent surgery Thursday on his broken right pinkie. The league's leading rebounder will be sidelined indefinitely. They did get Kenyon Martin back from a two-game absence with a bruised thigh, but his 11-point, seven-rebound performance wasn't nearly enough to keep the Nuggets from blowing a fourth-quarter lead and losing for the ninth time this season.

"What you're seeing in the fourth quarter is a team that doesn't have confidence to finish up the game," Karl said. "Last year we were a great fourth-quarter defensive team and I think that was our confidence. This year we don't have that."

Anthony had no answers for the fourth-quarter follies: "We just lose our composure and get out of sync."

The SuperSonics played without two players, Luke Ridnour and Danny Fortson. Ridnour was sore after taking a shot to the chest Friday night from Dallas' Jerry Stackhouse, and Fortson began a two-game suspension for berating a referee Wednesday night at Minnesota and failing to promptly leave the game after being ejected.

Thanks to Allen, their absences weren't felt.

Allen's 3-pointer tied it at 96 and Wilkins' steal and dunk gave Seattle the lead for good with 6:40 left, the SuperSonics' first lead since the first half.

Anthony scored 23 points in the first half, which ended with Denver ahead 61-58.

That pace didn't appear to favor the SuperSonics, who were playing their third game in four nights and against a Denver team that leads the league with 22 fastbreak points a game, including 26 at the Pepsi Center.

The Nuggets managed 29 fastbreak points Thursday night, but only four came after halftime.

Before tip-off, Karl said he wasn't going to change his team's running style just because it's been beset by injuries, saying, "I think that's our forte, especially here in Denver."

On this night, Allen proved otherwise.

Game notes


The Nuggets were outrebounded 48-36. ... Fortson will also sit out Saturday night against Memphis. ... Nuggets G Andre Miller, averaging 14.3 points, didn't score until 8 minutes were left.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
SEA
DEN
Points 112 105
FGM-FGA 36-79 (.456) 42-90 (.467)
3PM-3PA 13-28 (.464) 5-21 (.238)
FTM-FTA 27-32 (.844) 16-23 (.696)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 13-48 11-36
Assists 20 24
Turnovers 20 12
Steals 6 11
Blocks 3 7
Fast Break Points 18 29
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 22 (2/0) 23 (2/0)
Largest Lead 7 7

Top Performers

Seattle
Denver
Ray Allen Allen
Points: 39
Reb: 5
Ast: 3
Stl: 1
Blk: 0
Carmelo Anthony Anthony
Points: 32
Reb: 4
Ast: 2
Stl: 4
Blk: 0