Seattle plays at KeyArena for the first time in two weeks to face a Chicago team looking to avoid going winless on the first half of its trip.
The Sonics opened the season with back-to-back home games, the last being a win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Nov. 4. The ensuing six-game road trip began with three straight losses, though Seattle bounced back to win two of three.
Wednesday’s 113-100 victory over the Boston Celtics marked the Sonics’ first regulation win of the season. The Sonics’ previous two victories were against Minnesota and the Toronto Raptors in overtime.
“We know we are a better team than we have displayed in the past week,” said Ray Allen, who scored 32 points on 12-of-17 shooting Wednesday. “We got an opportunity to prove that tonight and we got on the same page more than we have.”
Seattle opponents are shooting 50.2 percent from the field and averaging 109.5 points, both league highs.
The Sonics lost the first three games of their road trip by an average of 27.7 points. They are being outscored by an average of 11 points this season, as all but one of their losses has been by double digits.
“It’s such a tough trip and to lose those four games the way we did,” point guard Luke Ridnour said. “Hopefully, we can get back to .500 and get going from there.”
Ridnour added 15 points and a season-high 13 assists Wednesday. He averaged 15 points and shot 40.5 percent from the field in the final four games of the trip after averaging 4.8 points on 6-for-30 shooting (20 percent) in the season’s first four games.
Coach Scott Skiles was more concerned with his team’s defense after the Bulls allowed the Blazers to hit 51.5 percent from the field in a 96-93 defeat on Wednesday.
“Basically, I’m failing right now,” Skiles said. “We’re not playing any defense, that’s unacceptable for us. Basically I’m just not getting it done.”
Neither is second-year guard Chris Duhon, who has shot 2-of-21 for nine points over the last two games.
Mike Sweetney, though, is coming off a career night as he came off the bench to get 24 points and 14 rebounds on Wednesday.
“He’s really talented down there, he’s a load,” Bulls point guard Kirk Hinrich said. “He can throw his weight around but he’s really quick and has a ton of moves down there. If we’re going to be anything, he’s going to be huge for us.”
Sweetney, acquired in an offseason trade with New York, entered the game averaging 9.3 points and 6.7 rebounds.
Chicago is 3-10 in its last 13 games against Seattle, but the three wins all came at KeyArena.
STANDINGS (through Nov. 17): Bulls - 5th place, 4 GB, Central Division. SuperSonics - 5th place, 1 GB, Northwest Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Bulls - Hinrich, 15.7 ppg; Chandler, 9.6 rpg; Hinrich and Duhon, 6.3 apg. SuperSonics - Allen, 24.1 ppg; Collison, 6.6 rpg; Ridnour, 6.8 apg.
2004-05 SEASON SERIES: SuperSonics, 3-1.
LAST MEETING: March, 15; SuperSonics, 99-93. At Chicago, Lewis scored 30 points, Reggie Evans grabbed 19 rebounds and the SuperSonics closed the third quarter on a 20-3 run.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Bulls - 0-3 on the road; SuperSonics - 1-1 at home.