SuperSonics 104, Lakers 93
They should be so lucky.
Radmanovic scored all but two of his 26 points on eight 3-pointers, and the Seattle SuperSonics took command in the third quarter to beat the Lakers 104-93 Tuesday night.
Radmanovic shot 9-of-17, including 8-of-14 from long range, in coming within one point of his season high and three points of his career best. He made nine of his first 11 shots before missing his last six.
Dale Ellis holds Seattle’s franchise record with nine 3-pointers in a game, and Kobe Bryant holds the NBA record with 12—against the Sonics two years ago.
“Probably the virus that I have is a good basketball virus,” Radmanovic said. “With the medicine I’m taking, hopefully it’s going to go away. I’ve been sick for a while—I’m just trying to play through it.”
Radmanovic was sick to the point that he sat out practice Monday.
“At the beginning of the game, I didn’t have enough energy,” he said. “I was slow motion. Later on, I got warmed up. The rim looked a little bit bigger tonight to me. Those guys weren’t paying attention.”
When asked why he was so open, Radmanovic replied: “You should ask the Lakers.”
“(They) are just transforming their position to another level and getting more versatile,” Butler said. “At times, we’d get back in transition off our turnovers and start protecting the paint. But there’s no one particular guy you can just find on the break. On this ballclub, you’ve got so many guys who can shoot long-distance, it’s tough to cover in any situation.”
Regarding Radmanovic, Butler said: “One time, I think he was in the parking lot and I had my hand right in front of him, but he just pulled up and shot the ball. He had a great night.”
Ray Allen added 25 points and Lewis scored 21 for the Northwest Division-leading Sonics, whose 29-11 record is the third-best in the NBA.
“We have a lot of different weapons,” Allen said. “We have a very deep roster and that makes us very dangerous.”
The Lakers (22-17) missed another opportunity for a season-high three-game winning streak. They’ve won consecutive games nine times, but failed in each of those situations to win a third straight.
“We’re just trying to win games,” Butler said. “I don’t think we’re putting all the thought on it that everybody else is—talking about getting that third win and getting the monkey off our backs. We’re going to get on a streak. It’s going to happen.”
Lamar Odom led the Lakers with 19 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists. Seldom-used Luke Walton also scored 19 points, a career high, in just 19 minutes. He had 12 of his points while playing the entire fourth quarter.
The Sonics shot 13-of-33 from 3-point range and the Lakers were 8-of-26. Seattle was perfect from the foul line, making all 15 attempts.
The Lakers have a 3-2 record since Bryant, the NBA’s second-leading scorer, sustained a severely sprained right ankle in the first quarter of a 98-94 victory over Cleveland on Jan. 13.
Bryant is eligible to come off the injured list before Wednesday night’s game against the Clippers, but isn’t expected to play before Feb. 6, when the Lakers begin a five-game road trip at Houston.
After Walton scored the first four points of the fourth quarter to trim Seattle’s lead to 11 points, Radmanovic made two 3-pointers and Fortson scored on a follow shot to give the Sonics a 91-72 lead with 9:42 remaining. The Lakers never got closer than nine points after that.
The Lakers are the only NBA team with a winning record that hasn’t had a three-game winning streak this season. Other teams who haven’t won three straight are Portland (16-24), Charlotte (8-30), Atlanta (8-31), and New Orleans (7-33). … The Sonics snapped a five-game losing streak to the Lakers in Los Angeles. … The Lakers haven’t lost more than two in a row this season, having done that four times. … The Sonics haven’t lost more than two straight, either, having done that twice.