SuperSonics 101, Nuggets 99, OT

Saturday, March 22nd 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

SEATTLE (AP) -- Ray Allen's doing everything he can to help the Seattle SuperSonics make the playoffs.

Allen scored 38 points -- 27 in the second half -- as Seattle beat the Denver Nuggets 101-99 in overtime on Friday night.

The Sonics remained four games behind Houston and Phoenix -- both winners Friday -- for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference with 14 games left.

"You have to tip your hat to Ray Allen," Denver coach Jeff Bzdelik said. "He made some big-time shots. He made those 3s and kind of stuck the dagger in our back."

Allen was 7-of-10 from 3-point range.

Vladimir Radmanovic scored 17 points, including a 3-pointer with 1:14 left in overtime that put Seattle ahead 100-97.

"I think Vlade is a big moment player," Sonics coach Nate McMillan said. "He wants to be the guy that has the ball late in the game and take the big shot."

Denver cut the lead to 100-99 on two free throws by Juwan Howard, and that setup a strange ending.

With 2.4 seconds left in overtime, Brent Barry attempted to pass the ball inbounds so Seattle could run out the clock. As Barry looked for an open teammate, Denver's Nene Hilario was called for a delay-of-game penalty for leaning over the inbounds line -- sending Allen to the line and clinching the win.

"That call was the second time that happened to us," Denver's Marcus Camby said. "We're not getting any respect. It should have been 5 seconds, but I don't know what Nene did."

Seattle shot 46.8 percent from the field and was 12-of-23 on 3-point attempts. Denver made 53.2 percent of their shots but made only four 3-pointers.

Shammond Williams scored 22 points, Howard 20 and Rodney White 19 for Denver (14-55), which lost for the 18th time in 20 games.

Each team had a chance to win in regulation. With the score tied at 91 and 25 seconds left, Denver attempted to run down the clock and take the last shot. Radmanovic tipped a pass from Howard, and Allen snared the ball and the Sonics called a timeout with 9.1 seconds left.

After the timeout, the Sonics weren't able to get a good shot as Radmanovic's 3-point attempt at the buzzer was wide left.

Allen hit consecutive 3-pointers to give the Seattle the lead 91-87 with 1:30 to play in regulation. White made a 3-pointer for the Nuggets with 38 seconds left to tie it at 91.

The Nuggets, who are an NBA-worst 4-32 on the road, made eight of their first nine shots to take a late 15-2 lead. The Sonics didn't quit, however, rallying with a 16-7 run of their own to end the first quarter trailing only 22-18.

The teams exchanged leads throughout with neither ever taking a double-digit advantage. Notes: The Sonics lead the season series with the Nuggets 3-1, including a 92-84 victory in Denver last Sunday.

The Nuggets have the second-worst record in the league. Denver is 4-32 on the road, but the Nuggets are 3-7 on the road against Pacific Division teams. Denver is last in the NBA in scoring at 83 points per game.