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February 29, 2008 6:41 PM

Miami game thread

Posted by Jayda Evans

HEAT WIN: The Sonics gave a solid effort for three quarters, but let down in the fourth when Miami attempted 27 shots. Marion had six points in the fourth and Ricky Davis had a team-leading 10 to kill the Sonics 103-93. Next up? A seven-game road trip.

MARION HEATING UP: The All-Star lineup of Wade and Shawn Marion is finally starting to flourish against the Sonics. They've accounted for the last six points to give Miami a comfortable 92-84 lead with 4:24 remaining in the game.

SUPER SHAKE: Ridnour just got shook by Marcus Banks, who flew in for a layin and drew a foul on Chris Wilcox. Making the ensuing free throw, the Heat were able to take a 77-76 lead headed into the final quarter.

BEING BLOUNT: There's a comical group of Sonics hecklers adjacent to the Heat bench that has been ridding Alexander Johnson all night. They started chanting "JOHN-SON! JOHN-SON!" and teammate Mark Blount started cracking up. Problem is he was seated right next to Johnson, who has tried all evening to ignore the loud mouths. Noticing Johnson sinking further into his seat, one heckler blurted "Don't be embarrassed Johnson." That's the clean stuff. The rest was brutal.

SEEING DOUBLE: The Supes' unsung hero Nick Collison has another double-double, collecting his 10th rebound and scoring 10 points in 21 minutes off the bench so far. His effort has helped the Sonics build a 64-56 lead and make up for Petro not scoring any points.

SLACKING OFF: Miami weaseled its way back in the game when Seattle relaxed. The score is 47-44 Sonics heading into halftime.

BIG RUN: The Supes opened the second quarter on a 11-3 run to take a 37-28 lead after a Nick Collison turnaround with 6:05 remaining before halftime. Seattle is outscoring Miami 28-10 inside and Wilcox is having another impressive game against the Heat, leading with 14 points on 7-for-11 shooting from the field.

BETTER SHOOTING: The Sonics just closed the opening quarter with four made free throws to take a 26-25 lead. They're shooting 50 percent from the field, another improvement from the 42-point pounding on Wednesday where the Sonics could only muster 36.3 percent.

RIDNOUR PLAYING: Rid just checked in for Watson. The Supes PG rotation is at a quasi-healthy three.

LE BLOCK: The Sonics are playing more D than they did against Denver on Wednesday, not that it's hard to improve on none. Anyway, Petro just had a mean block against Johnson and KD blocked a Wade shot earlier. The Supes are up 12-9.

SWIFT STAYING?: For all of you hoping the Sonics put a plug in the C Robert Swift project, don't hold your breath. Although Carlesimo isn't the final decision maker, that's GM Sam Presti's role, the coach hasn't heard anything that says Swift won't be back next season or part of the team's future. Swift's qualifying offer is $3.6 million for next season. For the record, he's played in 71 games since being drafted 12th overall in 2004. That's nearly a full season. To be fair, though, knee injuries are tough to recover from and every player is different. Swift can be a force when healthy.

STOPLIGHT: Carlesimo was trying to be direct when answering a reporter's question regarding rookie Jeff Green's light to shooting three-pointers like he did on Wednesday, "NO!" Carlesimo said. Green was 1-for-6 from three-point range against Denver. Carlesimo noted that Green needs to improve on his three-point shooting to be a supreme small forward in the NBA, just not now.

PRE-GAME: This should be interesting. PG Earl Watson is going to start, but he said the first time he tests his running ability after suffering an upper respiratory infection will be when he plays. Yikes. PG Mike Wilks has familiarity with the team and Coach P.J. Carlesimo, having played a stint in San Antonio, so at least the Supes have protection.

Part of Watson's will to play is the Heat matchup with Jason Williams. The two are close friends and have been tangled in trade rumors the past two seasons. Watson said it can sometimes get so competitive that the two won't talk for a few days afterward.

Carlesimo shared a cute story about Wilks. Apparently the guard is one of the coach's son's favorite players, only the now 5-year-old didn't know how to say Wilks' No. 11 while playing with the Spurs. The solution? "Two Ones." But Kyle did know Wilks' No. 29 with the Supes last season.

Anyway, here are tonight's starters:
Sonics
F Jeff Green
F Chris Wilcox
C Johan Petro
G Kevin Durant
G Earl Watson

Heat
F Alexander Johnson
F Shawn Marion
C Mark Blount
G Dwayne Wade
G Jason Williams

The officials are Dick Bavetta, Jason Phillps, and Gary Zielinski.

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