It was a coming-out party Sunday for Seattle's second-year point
guard, who had 15 of his 20 points in the third quarter to lead
Seattle SuperSonics to a 101-89 win over San Antonio, tying the
"That was great to see. He knows what he's capable of doing
now," said Ray Allen, who scored 32 points.
Ridnour's points were a playoff career high, and he also had six
assists. He shot 7-for-7 as the Sonics -- winning decisively without
injured All-Star Rashard Lewis -- broke things open with a 36-point
Ridnour finally had a breakout game after being overshadowed by
Sacramento's Mike Bibby in the first round and embarrassed early in
this series by San Antonio's Tony Parker, who scored 29 in Game 1
of the second round.
"I came off a lot of pick-and-rolls. I got some transition
buckets," Ridnour said. "That's how I get going. We have guys who
know how to make plays, myself included. Tonight it was just
Lewis was unable to run because of a sprained toe on his left
foot. He was hurt in Game 3 and, after missing two days of
practice, watched in street clothes on the bench.
The Sonics, who shocked nearly everyone by winning 52 games and
the Northwest Division title, seemed inspired without him.
Now, they've made it into a best-of-three series. Game 5 is
Tuesday night in Texas.
"It's going to be tough to finish, but this is a good start,"
"We're going to make the best of it," Evans said. "Even
though Rashard wasn't there, we're going to make excuses. We just
have to make it happen."
Duncan led the Spurs with 35 points, Manu Ginobili had 15 and
Parker 12. But they spent most of the final period on the sideline.
Without Lewis, the other Sonics raised their game -- just as Spurs
coach Gregg Popovich had feared.
"It's a coach's nightmare," he said. "You worry about a team
playing inspired basketball, knowing that they're up against it.
You worry about subconsciously letting down. You talk about it, but
sometimes it makes no difference."
Seattle came out focused, jumping out with a 12-4 run and
putting up 28 first-quarter points. The Sonics had their defense
going, too, logging four blocked shots and forcing the Spurs into
seven turnovers in the first period.
Then Ridnour got things rolling in the third.
The Sonics broke from a 54-54 tie with a 12-1 run midway through
the quarter, with Allen scoring seven and Ridnour four. It was
82-66 after three periods after Ridnour made a jumper, a 3-pointer
and flipped in a runner.
"Our bigs did a nice job of playing together, just forcing
stops and allowing our guards to get out in transition in the third
quarter. That's when we broke the game open," Seattle coach Nate
Seattle kept the momentum going, with Wilkins soaring for a
bucket and Allen getting two jumpers opening the fourth to make it
Much of the focus coming into Game 4 was on how San Antonio
would defend a pick-and-roll that helped Seattle's Jerome James to
a 7-for-7 shooting effort in Game 3. It was Ridnour doing the
damage this time from the perimeter side of the play.
"We did a lot better job defending their bigs, but they killed
us the other way," Duncan said.
Allen and Bruce Bowen drew double technicals for a pushing
match during a dead ball early in the second half. It kept going,
and Allen was called for an offensive foul seconds later. ... After
his 15-point effort in Game 3, James scored two points and missed
all five of his field goal attempts. ... Rasho Nestorovic was
whistled for a technical foul early in the fourth. ... University
of Washington coach Lorenzo Romar was in the crowd, receiving a big
cheer when he was introduced. .. Also in attendance: Bill Russell,
Lenny Wilkens, Rick Barry and Detlef Schrempf.