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Archive for Friday, December 1, 2000

Sonics super against L.A.

Seattle wins second in a row under new coach

December 1, 2000

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— Nate McMillan is doing wonders for Seattle.

The SuperSonics improved to 2-0 under their new coach with a 121-88 victory over the defending NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday night. The Lakers had a five-game winning streak broken.

The Sonics led by 31 points at halftime and the fans at the Key Arena were chanting "Nate, Nate, Nate" in the final 1:46.

Paul Westphal was fired Monday when the Sonics were 3-6 and replaced by the popular McMillan, who was an assistant coach under Westphal after playing 12 seasons for the Sonics. Seattle won its first game under McMillan Tuesday night at Portland.

"I think Nate McMillan is going to be a great coach," said the Lakers' Horace Grant, who played last season with Seattle. "I think what you saw tonight proved that."

Gary Payton led the Sonics with 27 points. Vin Baker had 20 points and nine rebounds. McMillan has put Baker on the bench as Patrick Ewing's backup at center. Led by Baker, Seattle's reserves outscored the Lakers' bench 60-20.

Shaquille O'Neal led the Lakers with 23 points and Kobe Bryant had 17. The Lakers shot 1-for-20 from three-point range.

Trail Blazers 95, Mavericks 84

Portland, Ore. Rasheed Wallace scored 28 points and Steve Smith added 19 as the Trail Blazers slowed the Mavericks' fast start.

Wallace came off the bench for the first time this season after skipping shootaround to attend to personal matters. The absence was excused, coach Mike Dunleavy said, and Wallace entered the game 2:05 into the first quarter.

Courtney Alexander scored 20 points, six more than his season high, to lead the Mavericks, who had won two straight. Their 10-5 start tied for the second-best in franchise history.

Rockets 109,

Nuggets 105, OT

Denver Kenny Thomas scored five of his season-high 18 points in overtime and Steve Francis and Cuttino Mobley had 22 points each as the Rockets ended Denver's five-game home winning streak.

Francis also had six assists and seven rebounds. Hakeem Olajuwon scored only nine points but had a basket and two steals in overtime as the Rockets outscored the Nuggets 11-7.

The effort offset the season-high 40-point, 20-rebound performance of Denver's Antonio McDyess.

Raef LaFrentz had 16 points and Nick Van Exel added 15 points and seven rebounds.

Bucks 108, Celtics 97

Milwaukee Glenn Robinson matched his season-high with 25 points and Sam Cassell added 19 points and a season-high 14 assists.

Paul Pierce led the Celtics with 34 points, shooting 10-of-14 from the field and 10-of-11 from the free-throw line. Antoine Walker added 20 points and eight rebounds.

Milwaukee, which had a 19-point lead in the first half, had to hold off a rally in the fourth quarter. Tim Thomas, who finished with 17 points, scored six straight to give Milwaukee a 94-84 lead with 6:41 left. Boston could not get closer than seven points the rest of the way.

Bulls 91, Hawks 82

Atlanta Ron Mercer scored a season-high 30 points, including 12 in the fourth quarter, and Chicago gained its second win of the season to snap a nine-game losing streak.

The Bulls (2-13), who still have the worst record in the league, also won their first road game of the season after eight losses.

The Hawks, who have the second-worst record in the NBA (3-13), were led by Jason Terry with 22 points. Alan Henderson and Lorenzen Wright added 15 points each for Atlanta.

Elton Brand added 22 points and 13 rebounds for the Bulls and Khalid El-Amin added 16 points, including eight of Chicago's last 10.

Warriors 99, Pacers 95

Oakland, Calif. Chris Mills hit a jumper with 22.3 seconds left as Golden State, after blowing an 18-point lead in the fourth quarter, held on to beat the Pacers.

Golden State began the second half with a 22-7 run and was up 88-70 early in the fourth quarter.

Indiana chipped away at the lead for 10 minutes, and the Pacers tied it at 95 on Reggie Miller's layup with 42 seconds left.

After Mills scored the last of his season-high 19 points on a short shot, Travis Best drove the lane for Indiana and fumbled the ball to Larry Hughes, who was fouled.

Hughes hit two free throws to clinch the win. He led the Warriors with a season-high 29 points, while Bob Sura had a season-high 18 points and nine rebounds.

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