Patrick’s day

  • RICH MYHRE / Herald Writer
  • Tuesday, November 14, 2000 9:00pm
  • Sports

Ewing, Sonics win reunion game

By RICH MYHRE

Herald Writer

SEATTLE — As reunion games go, Tuesday night’s contest between Patrick Ewing and the New York Knicks was a bit of a letdown. Blame it on emotion-fed jitters, but the new Seattle SuperSonics center didn’t play all that well.

Then again, neither did the Knicks.

In a game that was often short on excellence, but always overflowing with sentiment and significance, the Sonics gave Ewing a night to remember, defeating New York 96-75 before 17,072 delighted fans at KeyArena.

The 7-foot Ewing was hardly the star of the game, but he gave the Sonics some steady play in the middle with nine rebounds and three blocked shots. Offensively, he started slowly, missing his first four chances from the field and committing two unsightly turnovers. Ewing didn’t score until 1:14 remained in the second quarter when he snugged in a 15-foot baseline jumper over former New York front-line companion Marcus Camby.

Eight of Ewing’s points came in the second half as he helped Seattle turn a 48-43 halftime margin into a nine-point lead after three quarters and a double-digit advantage through most of the final period.

Despite a slow start, Ewing "kept his head in the game," said Sonics coach Paul Westphal. "He came out and really broke their back in the third quarter (with six points). He’s just a consistent player. He’s not a go-to superstar like he was, but he’s still a very good center.

"I was very happy for Patrick," Westphal added. "He was smiling after the game. I’m sure it meant a lot to him."

"I’m just happy to get the game over with," Ewing said. "I was tired of all the media hype and questions about the game. I’m happy to get it over with, and now we don’t play the Knicks again until February."

Ewing, acquired by Seattle in a four-team, 13-player trade on Sept. 20, was greeted affectionately by his former teammates before the game. As the teams went through their layin drills, Ewing paused to embrace several of the Knicks. More hugs were exchanged as the starters took the court before the game.

Seeing his ex-teammates "was great," Ewing admitted. "I’ve been war with a lot of those guys for a lot of years. We have mutual respect for each other, and they wished me luck just like I wished them luck."

His new teammates, meanwhile, "wanted to win this game for me," Ewing said. "They said it when I first came here, they said it before the game, and I’m just happy we won the game. We needed to beat them more because we’ve been struggling than because they’re my ex-team."

If the game was memorable for Ewing, it was hugely significant for the Sonics. Having lost six of their past eight games, including four of five on a recent East Coast road trip, Seattle was greatly in need of a win. It was accomplished this night largely because of the defense. The Sonics held New York to just 34.1 percent (29-for-85) from the field. New York’s 75 points was easily the low for a Seattle opponent this season.

"It was a great wire-to-wire effort by us," Westphal said. "Our goal was to play 48 minutes of defense and I think we accomplished that.

Gary Payton had a typically sensational game, scoring 25 points and adding 13 assists, eight rebounds and three steals in 46 minutes. Also contributing in a big way was backup guard Brent Barry, making his first Seattle appearance of the season after missing six games with a sprained ankle. Barry played 25 minutes and scored 14 points, with four of his five field goals coming from beyond the 3-point stripe.

"Brent gave us a big lift off the bench," Westphal said.

In an effort to jump-start his struggling team, Westphal shuffled his starting lineup and his rotation for Tuesday’s game. Ruben Patterson was in the opening unit in place of rookie Desmond Mason at shooting guard. Mason did not play, while point guard Shammond Williams and center Ruben Wolkowyski, who both had reserve roles in recent games, had only mop-up duty.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Sports

Matt King of Team United States swims in the Men's 4x100m Medley Relay final at the World Aquatics Championships in Doha, Qatar, Sunday, Feb. 18, 2024. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
Community roundup: Glacier Peak grad captures gold at swim worlds

Plus, an Edmonds College basketball coach reaches a milestone, and spring teams at Edmonds and Everett nab top-10 NWAC rankings.

Monroe players hug after a tough loss during a 3A girls game between Monroe and Roosevelt at Roosevelt High School on Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2024, in Seattle, WA. Monroe fell, 58-37. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Monroe’s charmed run ends against Roosevelt in 3A state regionals

After winning three loser-out games to reach state, the Bearcats struggle with the Rough Riders’ tenacious press in a 58-37 loss.

X
State basketball roundup for Tuesday, Feb. 20

Prep state basketball roundup for Tuesday, Feb. 20: (Note for coaches/scorekeepers: To… Continue reading

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith (7) plays against the Arizona Cardinals in the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Jan. 7, 2024, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
Seahawks position overview: Will Smith still hold reins at QB?

The veteran’s 2024 salary recently became guaranteed, but a trade is still possible.

Seattle Mariners pitcher George Kirby during a baseball game against the Oakland Athletics in Oakland, Calif., Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2023. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
Mariners’ strike-throwing machine Kirby hones his craft in solitude

George Kirby spent his offseason training without distractions — or a catcher — in his hometown.

Snohomish’s Sienna Capelli and Arlington’s Samara Morrow scramble for the ball during the 3A girls district championship game on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024 in Marysville, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Seedings announced for high school basketball state tournaments

Who, when and where area teams are playing in the state regional round.

X
Silvertips extend franchise-long playoff streak

Everett clinched a WHL postseason berth during a 2-1-1 week, which included a split with top contender Portland.

X
Vote for The Herald’s Prep Athlete of the Week for Feb. 12-18

The Athlete of the Week nominees for Feb. 12-18. Voting closes at… Continue reading

Glacier Peak’s Gil Mossburg and Moses Lake's Dayton Regan wrestle during the 4A boys 150-pound championship match during Mat Classic XXXV on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024, at the Tacoma Dome in Tacoma. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Five Snohomish County boys win titles at Mat Classic XXXV

Redemption was the theme as three seniors won championships after falling in finals a year ago. Two others repeated as state-title winners.

Glacier Peak’s Karianne Baldwin celebrates winning the 4A/3A girls 125-pound championship match during Mat Classic XXXV on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024, at the Tacoma Dome in Tacoma. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Glacier Peak’s Baldwin ties county record with 3rd title at Mat Classic XXXV

The senior claims the 125-pound championship and joins Marysville Pilchuck’s Alivia White as local three-time winners.

Lake Stevens junior Camden Blevins-Mohr swims his way to a state title in the 100 yard butterfly during the WIAA 4A Boys Swim and Dive Championships on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024, at the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Boys state swim: Lake Stevens junior, relay team claim state titles

Plus, more from Saturday’s 4A, 3A and 1A/2A state championships, including a title winner from Archbishop Murphy.

Snohomish players reacts to winning the 3A girls district championship on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024 in Marysville, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Late putback lifts Snohomish girls past Arlington in 3A district title game

Tyler Gildersleeve-Stiles delivers the decisive basket in the Panthers’ 45-43 win.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.