Follow the Sonics off and on the court with reporters Percy Allen and Jayda Evans.
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January 3, 2008 5:25 PM
Posted by Percy Allen
BLOWN OPPORTUNITIES --- The Sonics had their chances in the final minutes, but committed too many mistakes. Durant made a pair of costly turnovers and Szczerbiak failed to make a proper defensive rotation that led to a critical basket in the final minute. Not a bad comeback, but the Supes fell short 104-96. Durant finished with 28 points. Stoudemire had 34 points and 11 rebounds.
UH-OH --- Unless the Sonics find someone other than Durant, Thomas and Watson to score they're going to lose this game. Even if that mysterious somebody does emerge, it's going to be very difficult to make up 9 points against a quality team like Phoenix. Amazing turn of events. I thought the Sonics were on their way to a 100+ night after scoring 33 in the first quarter, but they trail 72-63 and the offense managed 12 in the second quarter and 18 in the third.
RIDNOUR STEPS IN --- He didn't play in the first half and just got off the bench. The Sonics need him because they might run out of gas and coach PJ Carlesimo wants to play a smaller lineup.
HEATING UP --- Not sure if this pace can continue, but both teams are really running now. Nash is so creative with the ball and he's got wing players who are equally creative. The Suns just aren't converting or else, this game wouldn't be close. Watson has taken over the secondary scoring role. Unless one of the bench guys (Szczerbiak or West) get going, he's going to have to have 30 for the Sonics to have any chance of winning.
A TALE OF TWO QUARTERS --- If I were writing this story now it would go something like that: "It was a good start for the Sonics and a lousy finish." As good as they were in the opening period, they were just as bad in the second. The 20-point lead has all but disappeared. Still, Seattle is ahead 45-43. But the score only tells half the story. Phoenix has found its mojo. Nash is playing like Nash and that's downright scary. He should have more than 4 assists, but others have shot poorly.
iT'S A GAME AGAIN --- Nasth drained a three-pointer to draw Phoenix close. Seattle leads 45-43.
THOMAS BARKING --- The ex-Phoenix Suns F/C had a few words for his former teammates after taking a charge on an Amare Stoudemire dunk. The crowd was really getting into it before the refs made the call. Then Thomas walked to the Suns bench and said "This is what I do." Funny moment.
SUNS RISING --- You knew they were going to make a run and here it is. The Sonics 20-point lead is now 12 (37-25) and all of the momentum is with Phoenix. Seattle's offense has gone south. It has made just 2 of 11 shots in the quarter so far.
WEEZY WON'T RETURN --- Wilcox dislocated his right pinky and will sit out the remainder of the game. The injury occurred midway in the first quarter. Haven't confirmed this yet, but it might have happened when he was attempting a rebound. Anyway, he's out so Nick Collison will likely play major minutes.
AMAZING START --- The Sonids are ahead 33-13. It ties a season-high for first-quarter scoring and two points shy of a season low for a Sonics opponent in the first quarter. The starters have set a fast tone. Durant has has 8, Watson, 7, Thomas 6 and Green and Wilcox each have 4. The Sonics are shooting 40 percent. More amazing is their defense, which has held Phoenix to 20 percent shooting.
ORANGE HEADS --- Since the TNT-televised Portland-Chicago game is going into double OT, you guys probably don't have the feed to the Sonics game just yet. When you tune in, you'll notice the Suns are wearing orange headbands. They should probably get rid of them because the Supes are blowing them out early. Seattle is up 26-11.
BENNETT MAKING THE ROUNDS --- Just ran into Sonics majority owner Clay Bennett. He denied an interview request so I couldn't ask about the progress of the lawsuit, the arena developments in OKC or the Storm coaching search. He did tell me that he's a bit bummed about the Oklahoma Sooners loss in the Fiesta Bowl.
BIG CELEBRATION PLANNED --- The Phoenix Suns will celebrate thier 40th anniversary tonight. Just walked out to the court and they've got a 70s band lined up for the halftime act. On Jan. 22, 1968 the NBA Board of Governors granted Phoenix a franchise. The team began play during the '68-69 season. Here's a story from the Arizona Republic today about Steve Nash and the 40th anniversary
DURANT, WILCOX, RIDNOUR RETURN --- In their last meeting, the Sonics had just nine healthy players because of injuries. But tonight, they'll have nearly a full compliment of players. Durant (left index finger sprain), Wilcox (left knee spraini) and Ridnour (left thigh soreness) are all expected to play. Durant and Wilcox will start after missing a game. Ridnour missed three games due to injury.
F -- Jeff Green
F -- Chris Wilcox
C -- Kurt Thomas
G -- Kevin Durant
G -- Earl Watson
Inactive: Robert Swift
F -- Grant Hill
F -- Shawn Marion
C -- Amare Stoudemire
G -- Raja Bell
G -- Steve Nash
Inactive: DJ Strawberry
Officials: Ken Mauer, Ron Olesiak and Michael Smith
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