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March 24, 2008 6:50 PM

Portland game thread

Posted by Percy Allen

IT'S OVER, THE STREAK IS SNAPPED --- Sonics win 97-84.

PULLING AWAY --- Nate McMillan is scrambling to find the right combination. You can tell when he's upset. He just stands tall and simmers. The Sonics have taken control of the game. They are up 90-79 with about five minutes left.

THIRD QUARTER --- Amazing quarter for the Sonics, who held Portland to just 10 points in the quarter. Seattle surged ahead 71-63. The Blazers shot 13.6 percent (3 of 22) in the period. Durant has 20 points.

NERVOUS ENERGY --- There was some concern among Sonics officials how the atmosphere tonight would effect the Sonics. In the first half it may have worked against them, but the team is definitely using it to its advantage in the third quarter. Seattle leads 69-61.

FIRST HALF --- Seattle is behind 53-49. Webster leads everyone with 17 points. Durant and Damien Wilkins have 12 apiece for the Sonics.

PR MISHAP --- Tonight's gamenotes has Mike Wilks on the roster, but everyone knows that Wilks was released last week.

PEACE AND ORDER --- If there was a protest, I missed it. Just another basketball game with about a hundred or so chanting every so often. As for the game, once the Sonics erased an 8-point deficit in the first quarter, it's been a close nip-and-tuck game.

FIRST QUARTER --- Eddie Gill made his Sonics debut and Francisco Elson (sore knee) returned to the lineup. The Supes were on the verge of an early blowout. Damien Wilkins drained a three just before time expired in the period to cut their deficit to 25-21. Webster is on fire. He has 15 points on 5-for-8 shooting.

FIRST CHANT --- With about 6:50 left in the first quarter, a group of fans near the Portland bench began a "Save our Sonics" chant for a few seconds. The building is more than half filled and there's a considerable number of Brandon Roy, Martell Webster and Nate McMillan fans.

A FRESH FACE --- The Sonics signed point guard Eddie Gill to a 10-day contract. He's 6-0 and has started one game this season for the New Jersey Nets. Gill has played in 32 games for the NBDL's Colorado 14ers.

WHERE'S THE FANS?--- Not sure if the late-arriving crowd is just a sign of tardiness or fans engaged in some sort of orchestrated protest. There's been internet chatter about staging a rally outside KeyArena and fans walking into the building about 10 minutes after the game has started chanting "Save our Sonics." It's about 10 minutes before tipoff and the building is about a quarter full.

BOYS IN BLUE --- There's a noticeably increased police presence inside the building tonight. The team won't say how many extra officers it hired for the game, but I estimate that it's double the number that's at most games. A PR spokesman said the team is aware that there might be a protest and has "taken appropriate measures."

LOOK UP IN THE SKY --- There's a plane circling KeyArena with a banner behind it that reads: Sonics: Belong in Seattle!

STARTING LINEUPS

PORTLAND
F -- Martell Webster
F -- LaMarcus Aldridge
C -- Joel Pryzbilla
G -- Brandon Roy
G -- Steve Blake

SONICS
F -- Jeff Green
F -- Nick Collison
C -- Johan Petro
G -- Kevin Durant
G -- Luke Ridnour

Officials: Scott Foster, Matthew Boland and David Jones.

PRE-GAME NOTES --- It promises to be an interesting night with plenty of activity on and off the court.

Earl Watson and Chris Wilcox will play because of injuries.

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