Playing tight on the NBA's leading scorer, Allen also got a hand
from his Seattle teammates in holding Bryant to 22 points in the
SuperSonics' 120-113 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday
Rashard Lewis scored 26 points and Allen had 19 points to top
the 15,000-point plateau. He also added 10 rebounds and five
Bryant went 8-of-29 from the floor, including 2-of-13 from
beyond the arc as he scored 13 points below his average this
season. He also missed three long jumpers in the waning seconds as
the Lakers tried to catch up.
"We knew he would get his shots; it's just a matter of making
him take tough shots, staying in his face and rebounding his
misses," Allen said. "I think we did as good of a job as you can
do against him."
Bryant guarded Allen most of the time, so Allen wanted to keep
him running when the Sonics had the ball.
"I just tried to keep pressure on him offensively, because if
he's not working on one end of the floor, he can use more energy
offensively," Allen said. "So I just tried to keep him moving."
Seattle coach Bob Hill said the Sonics' had a plan for defending
"We went into the game with the idea that Ray would try to push
him to a certain part of the floor and there would be help there,"
Hill explained. "I thought Ray did a good job of pushing him there
and then our big guys were ready to at least make him take a jump
Bryant left the dressing room after the game without talking to
"We couldn't overcome a tough shooting game for Kobe," Lakers
coach Phil Jackson said. "They threw an extra man at him, and we
didn't make good adjustments. Offensively, I don't think we grasped
the concepts of what we are trying to do here."
Chris Wilcox added 21 points for Seattle and each Sonics starter
scored in double figures. Johan Petro scored 13 points, Luke
Ridnour had 12, and reserve Earl Watson chipped in with 14 points
and eight assists.
Lamar Odom had 21 points and six assists for Los Angeles, and
Chris Mihm scored 20 points before landing awkwardly, spraining his
right ankle and leaving the game with 49 seconds remaining and
Seattle ahead 117-112.
Mihm is expected to be sidelined for a while, although the
Lakers weren't certain how long he might be out.
Luke Walton helped the Lakers close the gap in the fourth
quarter by scoring 10 of his 17 points. He finished the game 7-of-7
from the floor.
Seattle was up 89-85 heading into the final quarter and extended
the lead to 104-94 on Watson's 3-pointer with 6:27 remaining. Los
Angeles closed to 115-112 on Bryant's two free throws with 1:24
left, but Wilcox scored on a fast break for a five-point lead, and
Watson made three free throws in the final 40 seconds.
Allen, in his 10th NBA season, became the 97th player in
league history to reach the 15,000-point milestone. ... The game
was the first of three straight for the Lakers against teams
hovering around .500 or below. Los Angeles, which recently beat the
Detroit Pistons and split games against San Antonio, is at
Sacramento on Tuesday, then hosts Minnesota the following night.
... Since being traded from the Clippers to the Sonics, Wilcox
essentially has doubled his minutes to around 28 a game, and his
scoring, up to some 12 points a game. ... Seattle, coming off a
victory over Minnesota, had not won consecutive games since Jan.