Warriors 108, SuperSonics 104
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP)—Don Nelson tried almost every trick he had to slow down Ray Allen.
Big man, little man. Single coverage, double team. No matter what combination the Golden State Warriors tried, Allen had an answer. Until the final seconds.
Matt Barnes made a tiebreaking layup with 1:05 to go, extended the lead on a goaltending call and distracted Allen enough on a potential game-tying 3-pointer to preserve the Warriors’ 108-104 victory over the Seattle SuperSonics on Saturday night.
“He’s a great player and you saw what he did tonight. We were running double teams at him the whole time,” Barnes said. “We had hands in his face. I was praying he didn’t make that last shot. I was right in his face and he still got a good look at it.”
That miss with 14 seconds to play was one of the few Allen had on a 38-point night that nearly helped Seattle snap its 10-game road losing streak.
Golden State won its sixth straight home game, despite the defensive breakdowns that helped Allen get all his points and 16 missed free throws that nearly cost the Warriors the game.
“We finally defended him correctly on the last play of the game and it was the most important one,” Nelson said. “I think we were just lucky to win this game.”
Allen’s seventh 3-pointer tied the game at 103 with 2:13 to play. Both teams traded misses before Baron Davis rebounded an errant 3-pointer from Monta Ellis, dribbled out from under the basket and fed Barnes for the go-ahead score with 1:05 to go.
“Everyone was kind of frozen when Baron got the rebound,” Barnes said. “I couldn’t hit nothing. I couldn’t throw myself in the ocean if I wanted to. I saw Baron and he was nodding his head so I went right down the lane.”
Allen then missed an off-balance 3-pointer at the other end and Mickael Pietrus hit one free throw to ice it.
“When I dribbled it, the ball slipped out of my hand,” Allen said. “Matt recovered and I tried to pump fake but he didn’t bite. After that, I had nowhere to go.”
Davis had 22 points, 11 assists and played all 48 minutes for the Warriors. Ellis, who missed the previous five games with a bruised right shoulder, added 20 points, and Andris Biedrins had 15 points and 16 rebounds.
Chris Wilcox scored 22 points for the Sonics, who were playing the second half of back-to-back games after losing at home to New York on Friday night.
“We are taking steps in the right direction,” point guard Earl Watson said. “We had a chance to win, but they had some great plays and easy layups. You have to worry about 11 straight losses on the road.”
The Warriors put their first sustained runs of the game together in the third quarter, when Allen was limited to 4 minutes of playing time because of foul trouble. He went to the bench with four fouls with 9:32 to go and picked up his fifth shortly after returning midway through the period.
Davis scored on a baseline drive and a dunk off a give-and-go with Ellis on a fast break to cap a 14-2 run to open the second half that gave the Warriors a 65-59 lead.
Allen returned and immediately hit a 3-pointer and converted a three-point play to tie it before he was called for an offensive foul that sent him to the bench with 4:35 to go in the quarter.
Seattle was held to one basket in a nearly four-minute span after that before 3-pointers by Mickael Gelabale and Ridnour in the final minute cut Golden State’ lead to 78-75 heading into the fourth.
“It helps not to have him in the game,” Nelson said. “That’s a long shot from the bench. That’s the only time we stopped him when he was sitting on the bench.”
Allen, held to 29 points on 31 percent shooting the previous two games, got off to a quick start by making his first three shots and scoring 11 points in the first quarter to give Seattle a 28-25 lead.
Allen’s third 3-pointer of the half gave him 21 points and made it 50-43 with three minutes to go. Watson, who had nine assists in the half, added a 3 in the final seconds to give the Sonics a 57-51 lead at the break.
Golden State (18-17) above .500 after Jan. 1 for the first time since going 50-32 in the 1993-94 season. … Watson had a season-high 11 assists. … Kelenna Azubuike started in place of Ellis and had five points in 11 minutes. Ellis played the entire second half.