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Archive for Friday, May 13, 2005

Seattle survives, 92-91; Spurs lead, 2-1

Allen’s offense, Potapenko’s defense late keys for Seattle

May 13, 2005

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— Ray Allen's 20 points and Vitaly Potapenko's big defensive stop were just enough to save the Seattle SuperSonics.

Allen had an impact despite going scoreless in the final period, and Potapenko forced Tim Duncan into a missed four-footer at the final horn, lifting Seattle to a 92-91 victory over the San Antonio Spurs on Thursday night.

Reserve Antonio Daniels had 18 points and eight rebounds, and Jerome James scored 15 points on 7-of-7 shooting from the floor, helping the Sonics pull to 2-1 in the best-of-seven series. Game 4 is Sunday in Seattle.

Duncan scored 23 points with 11 rebounds, and his defense was as solid as ever -- including four blocked shots -- on the day he was selected to the NBA's All-Defensive Team for the sixth straight year.

But it wasn't enough to carry the Spurs, who had won six straight playoff games. And this victory was critical for the Sonics, because no team ever has won a seven-game playoff series after trailing 3-0.

Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili each scored 18 points, but Seattle did a better job defensively by keeping San Antonio's quick guards out of the paint. Parker had 29 points in Game 1 and Ginobili 28 in Game 2.

Ginobili made a free throw with 29.3 seconds on the clock, pulling San Antonio to 92-91. After a timeout, the Sonics got the ball to Allen, whose attempt over Duncan from the left baseline bounced off the rim.

That left the Spurs with 2.9 seconds for a final chance. Ginobili inbounded to Duncan, who drove to his left on Potapenko. Duncan got a decent look at the basket, but his shot bounced off the rim at the horn.

The Sonics held San Antonio without a field goal over the final 4:27. From there, the Spurs hit 4-for-10 from the foul line.

Daniels made two free throws to tie it and 88, and then Nick Collison scored over Duncan to put Seattle up 90-88 with 2:33 remaining.

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