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SuperSonics Pound Lakers 119-98

March 31, 2003

SEATTLE (AP) _ Ray Allen scored 32 points and Rashard Lewis returned from a one-game injury absence to score 24 as the Seattle SuperSonics defeated the Los Angeles Lakers 119-98 Sunday night.

Brent Barry added 15 points, 13 assists and nine rebounds, barely missing his first career triple-double for the second straight game. He had 14 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds in Friday’s 95-71 win over Memphis.

Peja Drobnjak had 20 points as the Sonics, making a late bid for the final Western Conference playoff spot, scored a season-high point total and snapped the Lakers’ three-game winning streak.

The Sonics pulled within 2 1/2 games of Phoenix and Houston for the No. 8 spot in the West.

Shaquille O’Neal shot 11-of-12 and led Los Angeles with 34 points, but Allen outdueled Kobe Bryant, who was held to 14 points two nights after the league’s top scoring performance of the season _ 55 points against Washington on Friday.

This time, he scored had only three points by halftime, a big drop from his 42-point first-half effort against the Wizards.

The game wasn’t very close after the Sonics took control early.

Barry hit two 3-pointers midway through the second period to put Seattle ahead 37-27 and Allen had six points during an 11-4 run that made it 50-33 with 2:35 remaining before halftime.

The Sonics led 57-36 at the break, the second-fewest points by the Lakers in one half this season. They had 35 in the first half of what turned into a 102-85 victory over the Clippers on March 17.

The Sonics carried their momentum into the second half, making it look easy with a 9-3 burst early in the third to extend the lead to 66-39. After Allen hit consecutive 3-pointers, it was 74-46 with 8:04 to play in the third.

Bryant opened the second half with two 3-pointers but the Sonics seemed willing to defend him softly by that point, hoping to let the clock run or get a rebound to start another fast break.

O’Neal, Bryant and the other Los Angeles starters spent most of the fourth quarter on the bench.

Notes: O’Neal hit his first six field goals and his first four free throws. ... Referee Joe Crawford lost his balance and tumbled downcourt late in the third quarter, then later smiled and pointed to his right biceps to show he was OK. ... Sonics fan Brad Kaul of Renton, Wash., swished a halfcourt shot at halftime to win $100,000 in a radio station promotion. He missed a 75-footer for $1 million. ... Seattle’s 93 points going into the final period were the most allowed through three quarters by the Lakers this season.

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