Follow the Sonics off and on the court with reporters Percy Allen and Jayda Evans.
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January 30, 2008 2:16 AM
Posted by Percy Allen
PJ Carlesimo tried to downplay this momentous victory. We spoke in the hallways beneath KeyArena and he tried to attribute the victory to San Antonio playing the second game of a back-to-back and the Spurs being shorthanded without Tony Parker and Brent Barry.
Valid points, but the Sonics won because they had just six turnovers, their bigs (Chris Wilcox, Kurt Thomas, Nick Collison and Johan Petro) combined for 48 points and 31 rebounds, they connected on 13 of 13 free throws and Kevin Durant hit a big-time shot in the final seconds.
Oh and the defense was pretty good as well. The Supes held San Antonio to just 85 points, which was a season low for a Sonics' opponent. Seattle held the Spurs to 37 points in the second half and 36.8 percent shooting in the fourth quarter.
Not so surprisingly, Kevin Durant led the defensive charge. The rookie defended Manu Ginobili in the fourth quarter and held him to six points on 2-for-5 shooting. Most importantly, it was Durant who made Ginobili pass to Fabricio Oberto on San Antonio's second to last possession rather than take a shot.
Johan Petro was the other defensive standout. He was credited with just one block, but he altered several shots, especially from Ginobili who had difficultly finishing those wild dribble drizes that he's famous for.
The Sonics also did a great job of limiting San Antonio's second-chance opportunties. The Spurs had just six offensive rebounds and five second-chance points. Seattle had 11 offensive rebounds and 14 second-chance points.
It will be interesting to see if the Sonics can turn their momentum into a victory agaisnt Cleveland on Thursday. Like the Spurs, who play in Portland on Tuesday, the Cavaliers will play the second game of a back-to-back set.
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