SEATTLE (AP) -- Everybody scoffed at George Karl when he
criticized his Milwaukee Bucks despite their 9-1 record.
Turns out he might have been onto something.
"We haven't played a really good basketball game this season,"
Karl said after his team lost 97-83 to the Seattle SuperSonics on
Sunday night. "The road can be rough. We played L.A. good for most
of the game, didn't show up in Phoenix, battled Portland and didn't
have enough guns tonight."
After leaving Milwaukee with a 9-1 record, the Bucks return home
Gary Payton scored 21 points and Brent Barry had 13 points and
10 assists. All five Seattle starters scored in double figures as
the Sonics rebounded from their 107-92 defeat against the Los Angeles
Lakers on Friday night.
The Bucks were without Glenn Robinson, their second-leading
scorer at 20.7 points a game. He sat out with an injured right
wrist sustained during the game Friday against the Portland Trail
Allen said the Bucks' record after 10 games was deceiving.
"We could have been 6-4 instead of 9-1. This road trip
punctuated some problems we've had all season. Everything starts
with defense. We have to play it until we get a rebound and then we
Seattle's defense forced the Bucks into a season-high 21
turnovers that the Sonics turned into 23 points. They also kept the
clamps on the Milwaukee offense.
"Scoring is our forte, not defense," Karl said. "Without
Glenn there, we did not have enough scoring."
Sonics coach Nate McMillan was pleased with the way Payton and
his team responded after defeats against the Lakers and Utah Jazz.
"He (Gary) had not played well the last two games and he
responded with much more aggressiveness," McMillan said.
The Bucks got no closer than 15 points during the fourth
Desmond Mason scored the last six points of the third period,
including a two-handed dunk on a lob from Payton for a 79-60 lead
after three periods. Mason shot 8-for-9 from the field.
The Sonics finished the second period strong and started the
same way in the third quarter. Payton's 3-point shot gave the
Sonics a 66-42 advantage, their biggest of the game.
Barry's 3-point shot as the half ended gave the Sonics a 57-40 lead. Seattle shot 62 percent (23-for-37) in the first half.
Ervin Johnson's basket pulled the Bucks to 41-34 with
4:26 left in the half. The Sonics outscored Milwaukee 16-6 the rest
of the half.
Payton had six points in an 8-0 run for a 33-19 Seattle lead
with 9:54 left in the first half.
Thomas and Darwin Ham both made their first starts of the
season for the Bucks. ...The Bucks have played 14 games and already
have four-game losing and winning streaks on the road. ...The
Sonics were 14-for-18 from the field in the second period. ...
Mason sustained a right knee contusion when he collided with
Anthony Mason diving for a loose ball. He left the game midway
through the first period and returned midway through the second.