Sonics flame out in their home opener

  • Associated Press
  • Thursday, November 1, 2007 11:35pm
  • SportsSports

SEATTLE — Amare Stoudemire, playing for the third time since knee surgery a month ago, had 23 points and 11 rebounds, and the Phoenix Suns rallied past Kevin Durant and the SuperSonics 106-99 Thursday in the home opener of the Sonics’ 41st and most awkward season in Seattle.

Steve Nash had 18 points, including the clinching 3-pointer, and 12 assists, while veteran Grant Hill added 13 points, six rebounds and five assists in his Suns debut. Phoenix won for just the second time in nine season openers.

Durant, the second overall draft pick, scored 27 points on 11-for-23 shooting. Chris Wilcox had 23 points and 11 rebounds for Seattle, which blew a nine-point lead it had late in the third quarter one night after getting blown out late in its opener at Denver.

Durant made a 14-foot jumper over Hill with 4:15 remaining to cut Phoenix’s lead to 93-90. After Raja Bell made with a 3-pointer, Durant answered back with his own 3 to keep Seattle within 96-93.

But with the score 98-93, Durant had the ball stolen by Shawn Marion and then charged into Bell for another turnover with 2:11 left. Nash then made his third 3-pointer in three tries and Seattle never got closer.

The night began with fireworks exploding beneath the scoreboard and fans flashing green-and-gold signs such as “This City Needs the Sonics.” The crowd, announced as a sellout of 17,072 though there were a few empty seats upstairs, erupted into chants of “Save our Sonics!” during play in the second and third quarters.

Team chairman Clay Bennett, who will announce Friday his next move toward relocation to his native Oklahoma now that his deadline to get a Seattle-area arena deal passed Wednesday, watched it all while talking in a suite with Hall of Fame center Bill Russell, a Sonics regular and resident of Mercer Island.

The Sonics continually ran inbounds plays for Durant, who had equaled his opening-night total of 18 points by halftime. He made a 14-footer off a set play 41/2 minutes into the second half to reach 20 points and put Seattle ahead 66-61. Bell — who checked the 19-year-old most of the night while giving up five inches to the 6-foot-9 guard — extended both arms with his palms toward the arena’s roof and flashed a baffled look to Suns teammates.

Seattle took an 82-73 lead in the final minute of the third quarter on a 3-pointer by new arrival Wally Szczerbiak. But three consecutive 3-pointers by Marcus Banks tied the score at 82 with 20 seconds gone in the final period.

Phoenix outscored Seattle 19-8 to take an 88-84 lead on Stoudemire’s third consecutive basket with 9:05 remaining.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Sports

Drew Bryson, the new Arlington boys basketball head coach, at Arlington High School on Tuesday, June 11, 2024. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Arlington taps alum Bryson to continue boys hoops tradition

The former Eagles star succeeds Nick Brown as Arlington’s head coach.

Everett 8-year-old Ryder Romano was selected to compete in the prestigious Brick Invitational Hockey Tournament. (Photo courtesy of Brittany Walker)
Everett 8-year-old selected to prestigious hockey tournament

Ryder Romano will play at the Brick Invitational Hockey Tournament on July 1-7 in Edmonton, Alberta.

Seattle Seahawks cornerback Devon Witherspoon (21) celebrates a stop of Dallas Cowboys running back Tony Pollard (20) during the fourth quarter at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Nov. 30, 2023. The Cowboys won, 41-35. (Tom Fox / Tribune News Service)
Captain of the Seahawks defense? Why it could be Witherspoon

The talented second-year cornerback brought ‘outrageous energy’ to Seattle’s minicamp.

The Everett Silvertips remain confident in signing defenseman Landon DuPont, the first-overall selection in this year’s WHL prospects draft, who’s considered a generational talent. (Photo courtesy of Chris Mast)
Patterson: Have patience Tips fans, offseason news is coming

Everett is close to hiring a new GM and new coach, and still confident of signing Landon DuPont.

Dan Parker with the Snohomish High School girls cross country team. (Elizabeth Armstrong / The Herald)
2024 Snohomish County Sports Hall of Fame class announced

Five athletes, one coach, one contributor and one team are being inducted.

Why Seahawks are joining NFL trend with joint practices

Seattle will conduct practices with the Tennessee Titans prior to their preseason game.

Seattle Storm head coach Noelle Quinn on the sidelines June 15, 2023, during a game against the Las Vegas Aces in Las Vegas. (Ellen Schmidt / Las Vegas Review-Journal, file)
As WNBA exposure grows, Storm content to quietly stack wins

Amid the Caitlin Clark-fueled buzz, Seattle has won seven of its past eight.

AquaSox second baseman Brock Rodden throws out a runner June 5 during a game against the Vancouver Giants at Funko Field in Everett. Rodden has been the team’s top offensive performer so far this season. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
AquaSox week in review: Keystone capers buoy Everett

Brock Rodden and Josh Hood have a friendly rivalry that pushes both players.

Snohomish Summer Smash returns for ninth edition

Registration is open for the tennis tournament for high schoolers, which takes place July 18-21.

2024 small school spring all-conference

Here are the 2024 all-conference selections from local small schools. Teams are… Continue reading

Seahawk and Archbishop Murphy grad Lucas hosting free camp

Registration is open for the youth camp, which takes place June 29 at Archbishop Murphy High School.

Glacier Peak’s Nicholas Miller. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
2024 All-Wesco boys soccer teams

Here are the 2024 All-Wesco boys soccer teams. Teams are chosen by… Continue reading

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.