Rashard Lewis scored 27 points and Seattle made 11 3-pointers in the Sonics' 103-97 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats on Friday night.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Rashard Lewis scored 27 points and Seattle made 11 3-pointers in the Sonics’ 103-97 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats on Friday night.
Vladimir Radmanovic scored 21 points on 5-for-7 shooting from 3-point range, and Ray Allen added 18 points for the Sonics.
Emeka Okafor led the Bobcats with a career-high 27 points and also had 10 rebounds, the final one coming with 16 seconds to play to extend his streak of double-doubles to 18 consecutive games.
The Bobcats welcomed back guard Brevin Knight and center Primoz Brezec after both missed games with the flu as Charlotte dropped three straight. Both gave the Bobcats an immediate lift, Knight with 15 assists before he fouled out late in the fourth quarter, and Brezec with 22 points and nine rebounds.
The Bobcats challenged the Sonics, but in the end, Seattle was simply the better team as Charlotte lost its fourth straight.
The Sonics scored 42 points in the paint, and shot 50 percent from 3-point range. Still, Charlotte trailed by five with 30 seconds to play until Gerald Wallace’s turnover was converted into Lewis’ dunk that wrapped up the Seattle win.
The Sonics led 57-45 at halftime, but the Bobcats pulled back into the game with a furious third quarter. Okafor and Brezec combined for 16 points, and Wallace was all over the court, as usual, scaring the Bobcats with his head-first dive into the bench that had the coaching staff briefly cradling his head to make sure he was OK.
But the biggest difference was Charlotte’s efficiency at the free-throw line, where the Bobcats have struggled all season. They made all six of their attempts in the third quarter (11-for-13 for the game) and headed into the fourth tied at 75.
That’s when the Sonics turned it up, exploiting the zone defense Charlotte briefly tried with a quick 3 pointer from Radmanovic. Seattle then began beating the Bobcats in every way possible — 3s, jumpers, layups and at the line — in a 13-5 run that gave the Sonics an 88-80 lead with 7:46 to play.
Seattle pushed it to 90-83 before Wallace clawed Charlotte back into it with three straight baskets that made it 91-89 with just under 3 minutes to play.