SuperSonics 98, Bulls 84
SEATTLE (AP)—Ray Allen understood the boos in the first half.
“You see somebody who can’t put the ball in the basket, it’s a natural kind of thing,” Allen said.
Allen quickly made the boos disappear.
Allen could not find a rhythm in the first half, making just two of 10 shots, but was 7-of-9 in the second half. Rashard Lewis carried Seattle in the first half, scoring 13 points. He finished with 27 points on 11-of-21 shooting.
Luke Ridnour added 10 points for the SuperSonics, who won consecutive games for the first time this season, and got a significant contribution from their bench in the fourth quarter.
“We were just in a funk in that first half and we were causing it as much as they were,” Seattle coach Bob Weiss said. “They’re a great defensive team, but we were doing it to ourselves.”
Luol Deng scored 16 points for Chicago. Michael Sweetney, making his first start of the season, added 13 points and 11 rebounds for the Bulls in their third straight loss.
Seattle had a miserable first half, making just 12 of 37 shots and scoring only 12 points in the second quarter. Seattle made just four of 18 shots in the second quarter, and went nearly 5 minutes without scoring, as Chicago turned a four-point lead into a 15-point advantage with a 14-3 run. Chicago led 44-33 at the half.
“We were playing good ‘D’ in the first half that kept us in the game. We just were not knocking down the shots,” Lewis said.
Those shots began to fall quickly in the second half for Seattle.
Trailing by 11 at the break, Seattle started the second half on an 18-3 run to take a 51-47 lead. Allen scored eight points during the run, including a pair of 3-pointers. The teams traded the lead until the end of the third when Lewis and Vladimir Radmanovic made consecutive 3-pointers to give Seattle a 66-63 advantage.
Chicago went back ahead 69-68 early in the fourth on a 3-pointer from Deng, but Seattle went on an 18-2 run in just 3:02. Allen, Lewis and Mateen Cleaves all made 3-pointers and Vitaly Potapenko’s layup gave Seattle an 86-71 lead with 6:52 left.
“They turned it up just a little bit and we didn’t respond very well to it,” Chicago coach Scott Skiles said. “We had as good a defensive half in the first half as I’ve seen any team this year. … Then little things are happening and they’re throwing us totally out of kilter.”
Chicago dropped its third straight on its annual Western swing while the circus is at the United Center. The Bulls are 1-41 since this yearly trip began in 1999.
Last in the NBA in scoring defense, Seattle held just its second opponent under 100 points this season. The SuperSonics were giving up 109 points per game coming into Friday and allowing teams to shoot 50 percent.
After shooting 47 percent in the first quarter, Chicago made just 22 of 64 shots in the final three quarters.
Seattle got just one bench point in the first 34 minutes, but got 21 points in the final 14. Radmanovic finished with six points and Cleaves had nine in the fourth quarter. Radmanovic, who expressed displeasure with his role recently, added four rebounds, a steal and two blocked shots.
“There’s a lot of stuff that happened the last couple of weeks and I’m just trying to put that behind me and concentrate on the game,” Radmanovic said.
Weiss said G Rick Brunson would go through a full practice Saturday as he tries to recover from plantar fasciitis in his left foot. Weiss said if the practice goes well, Brunson could be active for Sunday’s game against Sacramento. Brunson played 4 minutes in the opener and hasn’t played since. … Chicago F Tim Thomas was inactive for a second consecutive game.