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February 19, 2008 6:46 PM

Memphis game thread

Posted by Percy Allen

GOOD CROWD --- A friend of mine would describe games like this as two Chihuahuas fighiting over a Cheeto, which may be an accurate description. Still, the crowd has come to life in the third quarter. There's plenty of empty seats and unrest from this weekends comments from Commissioner David Stern about the team moving to Oklahoma City, but you can't tell from the noise.

COMEBACK COMPLETE --- Wally Szczerbiak gave Seattle its first lead in the second half (77-76) with a three-pointer. Watson finished the third quarter with another three to put the Sonics ahead 80-78 going into the fourth. Watson has game-high 22 points.

NICE COMEBACK --- The Sonics have used a 16-3 run to chip away at their deficit. They trail 71-66.

ROTATIONAL DISHARMONY --- In their previous game, Carlesimo did a nice job of juggling minutes for 10 players. Tonight, however, he's using an 11-man rotation and there's very little cohesion being shown on the court. Gelebale is the only Sonic who hasn't played and everyone who has entered has played at least six minutes. It's quite chaotic.

HALFTIME --- Durant's absence is starting to show itself. Without their leading scorer, the Sonics appear unsure where to go for consistent points. Watson has a team-high 13 points and West has chipped in nine.

STILL RUSTY --- Swift has played just seven games and it shows. Late in the second quarter, he had a point-blank layup, but Milicic swatted the attempt with ease. In seven minutes, Swift has yet to grab a rebound. He has two points.

FIRST QUARTER --- The Sonics converted 65 percent of their field goals, however, they trail 31-27 because the Grizzlies have outscored them 18-8 in second-chance points. West has stepped in nicely for Durant and he leads the Sonics with nine points on 4 for 5 shooting. Gay has 13 and Warrick 8 for Memphis.

SWIFT SIGHTING --- Seldom-used center Robert Swift entered the game late in the first quarter. He's paired againist Darko Milicic, which is a good matchup for him.


F -- Rudy Gay
F -- Hakim Warrick
C -- Darko Milicic
G -- Mike Miller
G -- Mike Conley

F -- Jeff Green
F -- Chris Wilcox
C -- Kurt Thomas
G -- Delonte West
G -- Earl Watson

Officials: Bob Delaney, Leon Wood and Mark Ayotte.

PRE-GAME NOTES -- Kevin Durant arrived at the arena early, felt sick and went home, which is probably the first time a player wasn't in the building for thier bobblehead night. Durant, the Sonics' leading scorer, will miss his second game this season.

Delonte West will start in place of Durant.

During coach P.J. Carlesimo's pre-game address with the media, he said he still plans to make changes after tonight's game and those changes will effect the front line. He wants to give playing time to Robert Swift. Carlesimo hinted that whatever moves the team does or does not make before Thursday's trading deadline will effect what he does with the lineup.

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