SuperSonics 106, Spurs 102
Earlier in the game, Allen was kicked in the back by Bowen while the two were laying on the ground. Bowen was called for a technical, while Allen had to be restrained by Robert Swift and Nazr Mohammed.
“It’s just dirty basketball. It’s plain, outright, dirty basketball,” Allen said. “You guys have chronicled our battles over the last couple of years and I don’t mind the competition, someone going at me on both ends of the floor. … But when guys start throwing elbows and kick you when you’re down, that’s dirty basketball and I don’t respect guys like that.”
Afterward, Bowen was apologetic, admitting it was a mistake. Allen believes the Spurs’ forward should be fined.
“I did what I did and I’m sorry for that,” Bowen said. “But there’s nothing I can do to take it back.”
After Allen had his shot blocked out of bounds with 9 seconds left, Seattle inbounded to Johan Petro trailing 102-100. The center then handed off to Allen and screened Bowen, giving Allen room to shoot over Tim Duncan.
San Antonio still had a chance to keep its lead over Dallas in the race for the top spot in the Western Conference. After a timeout Manu Ginobili tried to pass to Duncan, but the ball was knocked away by Petro and over to Rashard Lewis, who was fouled with 1.6 left. Lewis made the first free throw, missed the second, but got the rebound after it was tipped by Allen. He was fouled with 0.3 left and made both attempts.
Allen rebounded from two subpar performances making five 3-pointers. In his previous two games, Allen had missed 23 of 33 shots, but was 13-for-23 against the Spurs and found his stroke against the suffocating, physical defense of San Antonio’s Bowen.
Seattle made 10 of 16 3-point attempts. Luke Ridnour added 19 points and seven assists and Lewis had 16 points for the Sonics.
“I don’t want to get caught up in those little battles where I’m out there angry, trying to get him back,” Allen said. “I just want to make the right plays, continue to be aggressive … and not layoff.”
Duncan led the Spurs with 28 points, rebounding from a season-low six against Portland on Friday. But the Spurs fell into a tie with Dallas for the best record in the Western Conference at 54-16. Ginobili and Tony Parker both finished with 17 points and Parker added 12 assists.
Parker gave the Spurs a 102-100 lead with 35 seconds left on a baseline floater, capping a 9-0 run.
On Seattle’s next possession, Ridnour’s pass was intercepted by Robert Horry, but Horry fell out of bounds before calling timeout, giving Seattle possession with 13 seconds left.
“We just needed to call timeout,” San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said. “We can never put that in a referee’s hands to call a push or not.”
Trailing 100-93 with 3:12 left, the Spurs scored seven straight to pull even at 100 on Ginobili’s reverse layup with 1:12 remaining. Horry started the run with a 3-pointer and Bowen added a short jumper, while Seattle turned the ball over twice.
“We did a good job to fight back into it,” Duncan said. “We got the stops and jus made too many mistakes down the stretch.”
Bowen finished with 12 points and Horry scored 10 off the bench for San Antonio. Chris Wilcox scored 14 for Seattle and Petro had six points and four rebounds in the fourth quarter.
The Allen and Bowen feud reached its head midway through the second quarter.
Going for a shot along the baseline, Allen leaned in, trying to draw a foul on Bowen. Instead, Bowen stood his ground and Allen was called for an offensive foul as both collapsed to the floor. On the floor, Bowen gave Allen a short kick to the back with his right foot, prompting Allen to quickly rise and get in Bowen’s face.
During last year’s Western Conference semifinals, Allen accused Bowen of playing “sissy basketball.”
“I don’t care for that type of basketball,” Allen said. “I don’t even call it basketball.”
The Sonics started the fourth quarter on a 10-4 run, highlighted by a pair of 3-pointers by Allen. The first gave Seattle a 77-74 lead, its first since 10-9.
Parker had eight assists in the first quarter. His season average is 5.8. … Allen made his 1,700th 3-pointer with 5:10 left in the third quarter, part of a four-point play. … This was San Antonio’s only trip to Seattle this season. They play April 11 in San Antonio.