Boozer scores career-high 36 in loss

Posted: Thursday, December 02, 2004

SEATTLE - The Seattle SuperSonics' confidence is growing game by game.

With the way they've been playing lately, it certainly should.

After Vladimir Radmanovic's 3-pointer with 10.5 seconds left sent the game into overtime, the surprising Sonics improved to 14-3 with a 129-119 victory over the Utah Jazz on Wednesday night.

"We've won lots of different games lots of different ways," Ray Allen said. "A lot of different guys have stepped up and played big for us."

Allen scored a season-high 38 points, including nine in overtime, as the Sonics overcame Carlos Boozer's career-high 36-point performance. Boozer, a graduate of Juneau-Douglas High School, played a career-high 47 minutes in the NBA city closest to his Alaska hometown.

Allen had nine points on 2-for-10 shooting in the first half. With his shot off, he switched his strategy and went to the basket, making 17 of 19 free-throw attempts.

"We got so many guys who can shoot the ball, it's almost more fun to get the assist," said Allen, who had seven assists. "It's great for me to dish the ball off. My shooting hasn't been that great. I've said to myself, 'I need to get more assists."'

Allen assisted on Radmanovic's tying 3-pointer, and Radmanovic was happy he got the opportunity.

"When you're three points down and you have the ball in your hands, you have to shoot it," he said. "There was a 50-50 chance that ball was going to go in."

The Sonics have been one of the NBA's surprise teams this season, leading the new Northwest Division after missing the playoffs for the second straight year last season, when they won 37 games.

Coach Nate McMillan was beaming after the win that followed a close loss Tuesday night in Portland.

"I thought those guys kept fighting, kept scrapping and making plays against a scrappy Utah team," he said. "I didn't see any quit in this team."

Meanwhile, the Jazz lost their third straight - and fifth in six games.

"We kind of self-destructed a little bit in overtime," Jazz coach Jerry Sloan said. "When Radmanovic hit that 3, we kind of lost our feet."

After Radmanovic tied the score at 110 with his 3-pointer from the top of the circle, Utah's Howard Eisley missed two shots in the final seconds of regulation.

"I think we're playing harder these last few games, but we have to stop making the mistakes and capitalize down the stretch," Boozer said.

In overtime, the Sonics led 118-117 after two free throws by Mehmet Okur of Utah with 2:26 left before Allen hit a 3-pointer with 2:14 to go, Antonio Daniels added a 17-footer with 1:04 left and Allen made two free throws after being fouled by Raja Bell with 37 seconds remaining. That put Seattle ahead 125-117.

The Sonics tied Orlando for the highest-scoring game of the season. The Magic beat Toronto 129-108 earlier Wednesday night.

Rashard Lewis scored 23 points and Radmanovic had 21 for the Sonics, who rebounded after a tight loss at Portland on Tuesday night.

The Sonics led 85-82 after three quarters after being in front 76-67 with 5:50 left in the period. Boozer had 16 points in the quarter, shooting 6-for-8.

Boozer's previous career high for scoring was 34 points against Charlotte on November 16.

The Jazz played their second straight game without All-Star forward Andrei Kirilenko, who is on the injured list with a partial tear of the MCL in his right knee. Kirilenko is expected to miss three-to-six weeks.



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