SuperSonics 120, Lakers 113
Playing tight on the NBA’s leading scorer, Allen also got a hand from his Seattle teammates in holding Bryant to 22 points in the SuperSonics’ 120-113 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday afternoon.
Rashard Lewis scored 26 points and Allen had 19 points to top the 15,000-point plateau. He also added 10 rebounds and five assists.
Bryant went 8-of-29 from the floor, including 2-of-13 from beyond the arc as he scored 13 points below his average this season. He also missed three long jumpers in the waning seconds as the Lakers tried to catch up.
“We knew he would get his shots; it’s just a matter of making him take tough shots, staying in his face and rebounding his misses,” Allen said. “I think we did as good of a job as you can do against him.”
Bryant guarded Allen most of the time, so Allen wanted to keep him running when the Sonics had the ball.
“I just tried to keep pressure on him offensively, because if he’s not working on one end of the floor, he can use more energy offensively,” Allen said. “So I just tried to keep him moving.”
Seattle coach Bob Hill said the Sonics’ had a plan for defending Bryant.
“We went into the game with the idea that Ray would try to push him to a certain part of the floor and there would be help there,” Hill explained. “I thought Ray did a good job of pushing him there and then our big guys were ready to at least make him take a jump shot.”
Bryant left the dressing room after the game without talking to reporters.
“We couldn’t overcome a tough shooting game for Kobe,” Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. “They threw an extra man at him, and we didn’t make good adjustments. Offensively, I don’t think we grasped the concepts of what we are trying to do here.”
Chris Wilcox added 21 points for Seattle and each Sonics starter scored in double figures. Johan Petro scored 13 points, Luke Ridnour had 12, and reserve Earl Watson chipped in with 14 points and eight assists.
Lamar Odom had 21 points and six assists for Los Angeles, and Chris Mihm scored 20 points before landing awkwardly, spraining his right ankle and leaving the game with 49 seconds remaining and Seattle ahead 117-112.
Mihm is expected to be sidelined for a while, although the Lakers weren’t certain how long he might be out.
Luke Walton helped the Lakers close the gap in the fourth quarter by scoring 10 of his 17 points. He finished the game 7-of-7 from the floor.
Seattle was up 89-85 heading into the final quarter and extended the lead to 104-94 on Watson’s 3-pointer with 6:27 remaining. Los Angeles closed to 115-112 on Bryant’s two free throws with 1:24 left, but Wilcox scored on a fast break for a five-point lead, and Watson made three free throws in the final 40 seconds.
Allen, in his 10th NBA season, became the 97th player in league history to reach the 15,000-point milestone. … The game was the first of three straight for the Lakers against teams hovering around .500 or below. Los Angeles, which recently beat the Detroit Pistons and split games against San Antonio, is at Sacramento on Tuesday, then hosts Minnesota the following night. … Since being traded from the Clippers to the Sonics, Wilcox essentially has doubled his minutes to around 28 a game, and his scoring, up to some 12 points a game. … Seattle, coming off a victory over Minnesota, had not won consecutive games since Jan. 22-25.