SEATTLE (AP) -- Luke Ridnour and his Seattle teammates smiled as
the clock ticked away on a most unlikely victory.
Meanwhile, Baron Davis leaned against the press table, with his
arms folded, watching the final moments instead of participating.
Ridnour scored 13 of his 26 points in the fourth quarter, as the
SuperSonics rallied from a 16-point halftime deficit for a 117-115
win over the Golden State Warriors on Sunday night.
It was Seattle's fourth-straight home win and third consecutive
without the services of leading scorer Ray Allen. And while the
Sonics' locker room was satisfied afterward, the Warriors were left
to answer why Davis wasn't on the floor for the final 17 seconds
with Golden State still holding a slim chance.
"I took him out because we were in a foul situation and he had
played a lot of minutes and we didn't have an opportunity to put
him back in for the final seconds," Golden State coach Don Nelson
Davis had five fouls at the time, but didn't take a shot in the
final 6:21 while his teammates tried to rally the Warriors. Golden
State's leading scorer bolted before speaking with reporters about
his 28-point performance.
"That's not why we lost the game," Golden State's Matt Barnes
said of Davis. "We lost the game in the last couple of minutes."
Actually, the Warriors let the game slip away in the third
quarter, when the Sonics' outscored Golden State 31-16 to crawl
back within 88-87. Damien Wilkins made two free throws to open the
fourth quarter, giving Seattle its first lead since 9-7, and the
Sonics never trailed again.
Ridnour hit two crucial 3-pointers in the fourth, one as the
shot clock expired, and his driving floater with 2:45 left gave
Seattle a 110-105 lead.
"A lot of times you get that big comeback and then you let
down," said Ridnour, who also had nine assists. "We were able to
sustain it and maintain it once we got that lead and we just didn't
give it up."
Golden State got within 115-112 on Barnes' three-point play with
10.4 seconds left, but Ridnour countered with a pair of free throws
with 8.8 seconds left.
Rashard Lewis scored 25 points with eight rebounds and four
assists for Seattle. Damien Wilkins, starting for Allen, scored a
season-high 22 and led Seattle with nine rebounds. Reserve Earl
Watson scored 20 points.
"We're getting a lot of production from me and Damien," Watson
said. "I think we're finally getting an opportunity, not that we
needed one, but I think this opportunity for us is huge and we're
seizing the moment."
The Warriors lost for the fifth time in six games and their
offense was stymied in the second half behind a combination of
improved Seattle defense and fatigue. The Warriors beat New Orleans
101-80 at home on Saturday night for Nelson's 1,200th victory, but
their pace slowed significantly in the second half against Seattle.
Barnes scored 20 off the bench for Golden State, but Mickael
Pietrus and Troy Murphy both scored just two points in the second
half as the Warriors shot just 34 percent. Monta Ellis, who scored
a career-high 31 when the two teams played last month, was held to
It was a stark contrast to the first half, where Golden State
was nearly flawless on offense, building a 72-56 halftime lead. The
Warriors shot 62.5 percent, made 8 of 11 3-pointers, had seven
players score nine or more points and ran the Sonics all over the
floor. About the only misstep was Davis missing Golden State's only
free throw of the half in the final minute.
That comfortable cushion was gone by the end of the third.
"We got three stops to start the second half and never really
looked back," Seattle coach Bob Hill said.
Seattle's interior defense tightened and the Warriors started
missing outside jumpers. The Sonics began the second half on a 15-2
run, hitting three 3-pointers. Golden State pushed the lead back to
eight, but Watson's driving layup with 25 seconds left in the third
quarter pulled Seattle to 88-87.
Nelson got the ball from his 1,200th career win on Saturday
night signed by Sonics' executive and broadcaster Lenny Wilkens
before Sunday's game. Wilkens is the NBA career leader in victories
with 1,332. Nelson is second. ... The 72 first-half points were the
most allowed by Seattle this season and most scored by Golden