Nuggets never really in it versus surging Sonics
SEATTLE – Rashard Lewis scored 21 points to lead four SuperSonics in double figures, and Seattle beat the Denver Nuggets 98-83 Wednesday night.Battling an upper respiratory infection, Ray Allen added 20 points for Seattle, and Vladimir Radmanovic scored 19 as the SuperSonics improved to 19-5.Andre Miller led the Nuggets with 20 points and Kenyon Martin added 18, 16 in the second half. Denver (13-13) lost for the sixth time in seven games and is at .500 for the first time since Nov. 26 when the Nuggets were 6-6.Denver played without forward Carmelo Anthony, who missed his third straight game after spraining his left ankle last Friday. The Nuggets’ offense struggled, especially in the first half, when they managed just 38 points and turned the ball over 14 times.
Seattle is 2-0 against its Northwest Division foe, having won 108-88 in Denver on Nov. 9.Trailing by 15 at halftime, the Nuggets cut the lead to 64-56 on a thunderous putback dunk by Martin with 4:15 left in the third quarter.Seattle led by 10 entering the fourth and started the quarter with a 10-2 run to build the advantage to 89-71. Denver didn’t get closer than 15 points the rest of the way.The Sonics played without guard Antonio Daniels, out with what team officials said was as tonsillitis. Daniels’ play off the bench has been a major factor in Seattle’s strong start. He is the SuperSonics’ third leading scorer at 12.2 points per game, while backing up point guard Luke Ridnour.
But Radmanovic and Ronald Murray picked up the scoring slack. Murray added 15 points as the Seattle bench outscored Denver’s 43-34.Rodney White added 17 points for Denver.Seattle built an 11-point, first-quarter lead, but Denver cut the deficit to 28-25 two minutes into the second quarter. From there, Seattle went on a 18-3 run, and the lead grew to 18.The Nuggets went more than six minutes with only one field goal, missed seven shots and turned the ball over four times during the stretch. Denver had 14 turnovers in the first half and trailed 53-38 at the break.
Wednesday’s game was Seattle’s only contest in a nine-day span. The Sonics lost to Phoenix last Friday and don’t play again until Dec. 27 at Utah.The Nuggets have played eight of their last nine on the road, but have two of their next three at home.Notes: Anthony did not make the trip to Seattle, but did some jogging and shooting Wednesday, coach Jeff Bzdelik said. No date has been set for his return. … Seattle’s Danny Fortson continued to struggle with fouls. Fortson played 10 minutes and fouled out with 10:12 left in the fourth quarter. He was also whistled for a technical foul in the first half. … Seattle is 11-2 at home.
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