Allen, a four-time All-Star, knows Seattle’s roster isn’t the best in the NBA, but he and his teammates are outworking the opposition.
“Every year you talk about who’s going to win the championship and who’s going to come in last place, but that’s based on talent,” Allen said. “It’s not who works the hardest, and who works the hardest is going to win a game every night.”
The Sonics, who won only 37 games last season and missed the playoffs for the second straight year, got 16 points and 13 rebounds from reserve power forward Danny Fortson. His inside presence has been a key to Seattle’s 4-1 start.
With the addition of the 6-foot-8, 277-pound Fortson to their bench, the Sonics are outrebounding their opponents by eight boards per game. They outrebounded the Kings 54-39.
The Sonics were last in the NBA in rebounding last season.
“I’d have to say he’s a big key,” Allen said. “Most of the teams we’ve played had strong, dominant post players. He’s been able to take them out of the game, bang with them and get rebounds. Last year, we weren’t getting second-chance points.”
“Those guys played physical, too,” Fortson said. “You might not see as much of them as you do me. I caught some elbows tonight, but I’m not complaining or crying about it.”
The struggling Kings, a 55-victory team that reached the Western Conference semifinals last season, got 17 points from Miller and 16 from Peja Stojakovic.
But Chris Webber was limited to 11 points on 2-for-13 shooting after getting 21 points and leading Sacramento (1-4) to its only victory of the season Tuesday night at home against Toronto. All the Kings’ losses have come on the road.
Stojakovic, who averaged 24.2 points last season, shot 1-for-7 from 3-point range.
“We’ve got to do a better job than that,” Sacramento coach Rick Adelman said. “It was mostly our doing.”
Webber thinks the Kings will start playing a lot better when they start playing at home.
“Hopefully, the schedule will start catching up to some sort of sanity for us,” he said.
The Sonics led by 19 points early in the second quarter. They were ahead by 14 at halftime and 18 late in the third period. The Kings’ only lead was 2-0.
The Sonics have scored more than 100 points in each of their four wins, which have come after a 30-point loss to the Clippers in Los Angeles in their season opener.
“I just like the way we’re playing,” Sonics coach Nate McMillan said. “We’re playing hard, we’re playing together. For 48 minutes, that team is giving a solid effort.”
The Kings won three of four meetings with the Sonics last season.
The Sonics don’t know when they’re going to get G Ronald Murray back. Murray was placed on the injured list Nov. 5 with a strained left quad muscle, meaning he must miss five games. He missed his fourth straight game Wednesday night. Murray played eight minutes of the opener on Nov. 3 after missing all eight exhibition games. “I don’t really have a schedule,” McMillan said before the game. Murray was a key contributor to the Sonics last season, averaging 12.4 points and playing in all 82 games.