SEATTLE (AP)—Everyone already knew Ray Allen is one of the NBA’s biggest stars. Turns out he’s got a solid supporting cast, too.
“The only thing I could think of was going back to Arco Arena. I didn’t want to do that,” Allen said.
The Sonics advanced in the playoffs for the first time since 1998. They’ll meet the survivor of the San Antonio-Denver series, which the Spurs lead 3-1.
Allen, coming off a 45-point performance in Game 4, was smothered by double teams all night, but the Sonics supported him with a solid team effort reflected by seven players scoring in double figures.
“I thought we’d need that,” Seattle coach Nate McMillan said. “We didn’t know what would be their plan for Ray and Rashard. We tried to commit to spacing the floor, putting our guys in position to attack if they double-teamed.”
The Kings hadn’t exited in the first round since 2000, when they lost a decisive fifth game to the Lakers. This year’s playoffs also marked the first time in franchise history they’d trailed 3-1 in a series.
“Somebody has to lose,” said Mike Bibby, who scored 35. “I’m not happy it was us. We gave it our all.”
Peja Stojakovic had 38 points but missed his first six shots of the fourth quarter when the Kings needed him most. Up to that point, he’d shot 13-of-17 for 31 points.
“We lost the series. You can’t look at individual stats,” Stojakovic said. “You’ve got to give them credit. They came to our house and stole one.”
Stojakovic finally connected, pulling Sacramento to 120-118 on a 3-pointer with 36 seconds to play, but Allen answered by splitting three defenders as he drove the lane for a layup with 12.8 seconds remaining.
“I just wanted to see what would happen,” Allen said. “It was a weird situation. I didn’t really want to shoot the ball because I knew (Maurice) Evans was going to come and jump on me. However they played me, I just wanted to key off that.”
Stojakovic missed another 3-point try, and the Kings’ final opportunity ended with 3.9 seconds remaining when Bibby missed from the right wing.
It touched off a celebration at the capacity-filled arena, with the Sonics massing at midcourt to congratulate each other as fans stood and waved thousands of yellow pompoms. James donned a garbage bag, a nod to his claim that the Kings gave him a bag to clean out his locker after they cut him as a rookie.
“That was the turning point of my career,” James said. “That garbage bag symbolized a lot of things for me. In that garbage bag was the old Jerome James. I set him free tonight.”
It looked like Stojakovic was finally going to end the talk about how he fades in the playoffs. He swished nearly everything he put up for three quarters after averaging 43 percent shooting in the first four games.
Then there was the defense by Bibby and Maurice Evans, who added 13 points and pestered Allen relentlessly.
But things turned when Seattle erased a 93-90 deficit going into the fourth. Collison, a defensive sideshow to Allen in Game 4 for of the three charges he drew in the final period, got his offense going this time.
His three-point play tied it at 95 with 9:32 remaining, then he took a feed from Daniels for an easy basket that put Seattle ahead 97-95 with 9:09 to go and sent the Kings into a timeout.
“Down the stretch, we kept getting second shots,” Collison said. “That’s a backbreaker for a team when they’re playing so well and after a tough possession we can pull it back out.”
The Kings got within 106-104 after Bibby drove for a bucket with 5:16 to play, but Lewis scored the next seven points and put Seattle up 113-104 on a 3-pointer with 3:28 on the clock.
“I thought our guys played hard,” Kings coach Rick Adelman said. “We wanted to give ourselves a chance to push forward and we did that. We just
Kings G Cuttino Mobley didn’t return after spraining his left ankle midway through the second period. “It just started hurting. I can’t jump off it. Chasing Ray around wasn’t going to help,” he said. … The Sonics have won all seven times they led a series 3-1. … Evans was assessed a flagrant foul for a swipe across Bibby’s face in the third. … Adelman, who complained during the series about physical play by Evans and Seattle F Danny Fortson, was “really surprised, shocked” by the NBA’s $100,000 fine against Rockets coach Jeff Van Gundy. “You’d better not talk about the officials, I guess,” Adelman said.