Sunday, January 26, 2003

SONICS SOAR PAST GRIZ, 95-83

Red-hot Radmanovic gives Memphis blues.

Posted by on Sun, Jan 26, 2003 at 4:00 AM

Vladimir Radmanovic scored 19 of his career-high 29 points in the second half to lead the Seattle SuperSonics to a 95-83 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies. Radmanovic also established career bests by making six three-pointers on 11 attempts. He scored nine points in the third quarter, helping Seattle erase a five-point halftime deficit and win for just the third time in 11 games. "Everybody knows who can shoot and who cannot shoot," Radmanovic said. "They probably wanted to stop something else, but when you stop something else, then something else is going to be open. I think that's what happened." Rashard Lewis also scored nine points in the third quarter and finished with 22. Lewis, who grabbed 10 rebounds, converted a three-point play with 8:10 left in the period to cap an 11-1 run and give the Sonics a 57-52 lead. "They've got to do that more often," Seattle guard Gary Payton said of Radmanovic and Lewis. "They're up and down. They had a good game tonight, and they see when they have good games it takes a lot of pressure off a lot of guys." Payton had 18 points, six assists and five rebounds for the Sonics, who defeated the Grizzlies for the 26th time in 30 meetings. Payton became the fourth player in NBA history to record 18,000 points and 7,000 assists when he made a fast-break layup with 4:55 left in the first quarter. Payton joined John Stockton, Oscar Robertson and Isiah Thomas in the elite group. Payton and Stockton are the only ones who also have 2,000 steals. Memphis stormed to the halftime lead after trailing 31-23 at the end of one quarter. Pau Gasol scored 13 of his 25 points in the second period and made 7-of-8 shots over the opening 24 minutes. But he shot just 4-of-8 after halftime. In the third quarter, the Grizzlies shot 26 percent (5-of-19) and were outscored, 28-15. They shot 54 percent (19-of-35) in the first half. "We are in the upper echelon in field goal percentage," Memphis coach Hubie Brown said. "Now all of a sudden we ... can't make a shot." Lorenzen Wright had 14 points and 12 rebounds for the Grizzlies, who have lost five of their last six games. "It's very frustrating," Wright said. "It seems like we're constantly taking steps back and we're not improving. We didn't play our game tonight. We didn't play together and didn't play defense."

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