NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, December 22nd (All times eastern)
Denver Nuggets (13-12) at Seattle SuperSonics (18-4), 10 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Seattle SuperSonics will try to rebound from just their second loss of the month this evening, as they host the struggling Denver Nuggets at KeyArena.
The SuperSonics have been off since being dealt a 112-110 home loss Friday by the red-hot Phoenix Suns. Seattle blew a substantial early lead and dropped to 5-2 in the month of December.
Ray Allen racked up 32 points and Rashard Lewis 26 for the Sonics, which had won eight of its previous nine and suffered only its second loss in 12 games at home. Reggie Evans finished with 13 points and a game-high 14 rebounds.
Seattle held a 102-95 lead after Vladimir Radmanovic drained a three-pointer with 3:15 to play, but Shawn Marion knocked down a baseline trey on the ensuing possession and threw down a dunk off Steve Nash's feed to bring the Suns within two heading into the final two minutes.
Evans would hit one of two free throws before Marion sank both foul shots to make it a one-point game at 103-102. After Allen missed a jumper, Quentin Richardson drove the lane and was fouled after putting in a layup with 1:09 remaining. He hit the bonus attempt and put the Suns ahead 105-103.
A layup by Joe Johnson and two free throws by Marion with eight seconds to go ended the fateful 14-2 run which gave Phoenix a 109-104 edge. Allen and Lewis each hit three-pointers around two Nash free throws to put Seattle down by one with less than a second on the clock. Marion then made one foul shot as time expired for the final margin.
The Nuggets, meanwhile, were dealt their third consecutive loss on Monday evening, as they also dropped a game to the Suns. Quentin Richardson's tip-in at the buzzer handed Phoenix a 107-105 victory at the Pepsi Center.
Andre Miller scored 23 points with 11 assists to pace the Nuggets.
The final 32 seconds of the game contained a flurry of action.
Denver, which trailed 81-77 heading into the fourth before gaining and then losing a 94-91 lead later on, tied the game at 103-103 on Kenyon Martin's bucket in the lane with 32.2 seconds remaining.
After Amare Stoudemire put Phoenix back on top with a thunderous dunk at the other end, Martin came right back with a tough layup to tie it again with just 16 ticks left.
But Nash got good penetration through the lane and his dish under the basket for Richardson led to the game-winner.
The Nuggets played the game without Carmelo Anthony (sprained left ankle) and Marcus Camby (bronchitis). Anthony has missed the last two games and is not expected to play tonight, while Camby is questionable for this evening's contest.
Tonight's game marks the second meeting of the season between the Nuggets and Sonics, as Seattle posted an easy 108-88 victory in Denver on November 9. The Sonics have won three of four and five of the last seven matchups with Denver. The Nuggets have struggled greatly in Seattle in recent years, dropping 19 of its last 22 in the Emerald City.
12/22 10:12:48 ET