Spurs / Sonics : Sizzling
By Temple A. Stark, Casa Grande, AZ
“I don’t give them no respect, none.”
That was Jerome James after the Sonics took a victory at home – barely.
It was an emotional, physical game and an emotional 92-91 victory for the Sonics, who would have gone 0-3 if the had lost. In other words, down the black hole.
Unlike the previous two games, the Sonics could afford to trade baskets in the third and in the fourth quarters. They were doing that in the first two games but that wasn’t gettign them diddly – they lost those by 22 and 17, if I recall correctly. (See 4th quarter scoring timeline at end of post)
7-1 center Jerome James has played well in the playoffs, including Thursday night, with six mammoth dunks and 7-7 shooting.
And though I love both teams, I pumped my fist so hard after the win that I probably sprained my wrist.
James, who played no high school ball, and first played competitively at Texas A & M, probably felt he would energize his team. But the Sonics still have a tough road to go.
Bruce Bowen and Ray Allen are going at it hard; little “fuck you” comments back and forth clearly visible on the cameras. I missed what started their scrap – pretty sure it was in the regular season. Allen, as smooth a player as you’ll ever see, has called Bowen one of the dirtiest players he’s had to play against.
He’s tough but I don’t see too much dirty. Pretty sure Karl Malone will hold that title for a long time, however.
Jerome James fouled out with 1:46 left in the game and, with 2.9 seconds left Tim Duncan missed the final mid-range shot, boink off the front of the rim.
The Spurs have been dropping their free throws in the playoffs like they weren’t one of the worst in the league during the regular season.
Thursday night that ended.
Tony Parker, missed two with 4:26 left in the game. Manu Ginobili missed 1 with 29.3 seconds left in the game. In the four quarters, the Spurs went 19-34 from the line.
Meanwhile the Sonics’ Antonio Daniels went 6 for 6 in the last 3:34 minutes, and 8 for 8 in the quarter. Crunch.
The Sonics didn’t get scared, didn’t get run-over or discouraged.
But Coach Gregg Popovich called the free throw debacle, “the best single way to lose a game.”
The scoring in the fourth quarter went like this.
At the end of three quarters:
Seattle – Spurs
77-77 Tony Parker 2 FTs, 10:21
79-79 (14th tie of the game)
84-87 4:26, Tony P missed 2 FTs – a daunting five-point lead.
88-88 2:58 16th tie of the game
92:91 29.3 Genobili misses a FT.