Vintage Ewing burns Heat

  • RICH MYHRE / Herald Writer
  • Friday, December 15, 2000 9:00pm
  • Sports


Herald Writer

SEATTLE – Over the years, Patrick Ewing has enjoyed a good many highlights against the Miami Heat.

Why, then, shouldn’t he excel once more against his longtime rivals, even though he no longer has a New York address?

On Friday night, in one of his best games of the season, the new Seattle SuperSonics center dropped in his first eight attempts from the field to help set an inside offensive tone against the visiting Heat. Ewing, who finished with 16 points, added 10 rebounds, four steals and a blocked shot in Seattle’s impressive 99-81 victory.

“The big guy was the Pat of old,” beamed Sonics coach Nate McMillan.

Ewing’s best moments came early in the second half, which began with the teams tied 44-44. Ewing put the Sonics on top to stay with a short hook shot, then swatted away an attempt by Miami’s Brian Grant seconds later. After Seattle’s Shammond Williams scored, Ewing made a steal and was rewarded with an 18-foot baseline jumper. After another Ewing steal and another Ewing field goal, and the Sonics were up 52-44 with Heat coach Pat Riley disgustedly signaling a timeout.

Those eight unanswered points followed a 9-0 Seattle run to close the second quarter, taking the Sonics from a 44-35 deficit to a 52-44 margin. The lead was 16 points after three quarters and reached a high of 20 three times in the fourth period. Finally, with four minutes to go, Riley surrendered by putting the last of his starters on the bench.

After the game, Ewing seemed genuinely pleased with his effort. “I felt good,” he said. “I was focused. I felt that I got embarrassed the last time we played them and I wanted to come out and have a great game.”

Ewing actually played adequately in that previous meeting, an 87-81 defeat at Miami on Nov. 8, with 15 points and eight rebounds. But the Sonics did not play well collectively that night, with Grant scorching Seattle with 30 points and 21 rebounds.

Regardless of his incentive, Ewing gave the Sonics the kind of showing they expected when he was acquired in an offseason trade with the New York Knicks.

“He was a beast,” said teammate Jelani McCoy. “That’s our nickname for him and that’s what he did tonight. He’s always going to get ready to play against Miami. He hit some big shots, made his nice top-50 moves, and everything went for him.”

The win improved Seattle’s season record to 13-12, moving the Sonics above .500 for the first time this season. It was also the team’s third straight win – its first such winning streak this year – and it was the seventh victory in 10 games since McMillan replaced Paul Westphal on Nov. 27.

The loss keeps Miami winless in 13 road games against the Sonics. The Heat has never won at the Seattle Center Coliseum, Tacoma Dome and KeyArena since joining the NBA for the 1988-89 season.

Seattle’s Gary Payton suffered a mild right knee sprain late in the first quarter as he stumbled while spinning to the basket. He was clearly bothered by the injury and was just 2-for-9 from the field at halftime, but finished 9-for-23 for 25 points to go with 13 assists.

“Gary is banged up all over the place,” McMillan said. “He has a thigh injury, a back injury, and now a knee injury. The guy just gutted it out. He’s a competitor, he’s a warrior, and he gave his all. He wouldn’t let us lose this game.”

Also injured in the first half was starting guard Emanual Davis. He suffered a mild knee sprain and did not return in the second half.

The Sonics will now enjoy four days off before their next game, a Wednesday night home contest against Pacific Division rival Sacramento. It is Seattle’s longest respite this season, except for the seven-day All-Star break in mid-February.

The team will not practice today, McMillan said, but will have strenuous workouts on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. The plan is to implement new defensive strategies that McMillan has been wanting to add since taking over for Westphal.

“It will be a mini-training camp, basically,” McMillan said. “We’ll go hard, but really trying to put in our defense. And offensively, timing and execution. It’s what we need. I don’t know how hard we’ll be able to go and how many guys will be healthy, but we’ll really review what we want to do.”

Talk to us

More in Sports

Everett Community College has hired longtime assistant coach Daniel Thompson (middle) as its new head men's basketball coach. (EvCC Athletics photo)
EvCC names Thompson new men’s basketball head coach

Thompson, 35, has been an assistant with the Trojans for 9 seasons and takes over for Mike Trautman, who stepped down in April.

Spring 2023 All-Wesco teams

Note: All-Wesco teams are chosen by the league’s coaches. For any misspellings… Continue reading

Hammer throw.
Local trio shines in high school hammer throw finals

Adrianna Coleman and Kimberly Beard place 1-2 in the women’s portion, and Calvin Gutierrez takes 2nd in the men’s championship.

Washington celebrates a home run by Rylee Holtorf (3) at home plate during the second inning of an NCAA softball Women's College World Series game against Utah Friday, June 2, 2023, in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Nate Billings)
UW opens Women’s College World Series with key win over Utah

After being rained out on Thursday, Washington beats Utah 4-1 to advance into the winner’s bracket.

Vote for The Herald’s Prep Athlete of the Week for May 22-28

The Athlete of the Week nominees for May 22-28 Voting closes at… Continue reading

Hops rally in 9th inning to sink AquaSox

Reid VanScoter turns in an impressive outing, but Everett’s bullpen falters late in a 4-3 defeat.

Rangers shortstop Corey Seager (left) reaches down to tag out the Mariners’ Teoscar Hernande, who was trying to stretch a single into a double during the third inning of a game Friday in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
Mariners’ bats silent in shutout by Rangers

Seattle’s offense musters just three hits in the 2-0 defeat.

AquaSox can’t make huge rally hold, lose to Hops

Everett takes the lead with six runs in the eighth, but allows two runs back in the ninth and falls 13-12 to Hillsboro.

The Everett Elite Flag Football 14-under team practices Sunday morning at Harbour Pointe Middle School in Mukilteo, Washington on January 16, 2022. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Community roundup: 3 Jackson grads to D-I baseball tournament

Plus, Jayden White is headed back to the NCAA track and field nationals, the Silvertips sign their first-round picks and more.

Washington's Sami Reynolds runs the bases against McNeese during an NCAA softball game on Saturday, May 20, 2023, in Seattle. (AP Photo/John Froschauer)
Local softball stars Reynolds, Mahler set for WCWS

Washington’s Sami Reynolds (Snohomish) and Stanford’s River Mahler (Monroe) each play prominent roles on their Pac-12 teams.

The Mariners’ Cal Raleigh smiles as a teammate throws bubblegum at him during an interview after Raleigh hit a single to drive in the winning run against the Yankees during the 10th inning of a game Wednesday in Seattle. (AP Photo/Lindsey Wasson)
Raleigh’s RBI single in 10th gives M’s 1-0 win over Yankees

George Kirby pitches one of the best games of his young career with eight shutout innings in Seattle’s 1-0 win.

AquaSox top Hops on wild pitch in 11th inning

Everett edges Hillsboro 3-2 in a game with strong pitching on both sides.