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Utah at Seattle

Jazz stymie Durant's game-tying shot, down 0-6 Sonics

CBSSports.com wire reports
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SEATTLE -- All those who thought Kevin Durant is already out of school haven't been watching the teenage star this week.

The SuperSonics' second overall draft choice got a lesson Friday night in the ways the NBA is quickly adopting on how to stymie Durant: The more the lanky rookie stays outside, the more an equally tall defender jumps out to keep his nose in the skinny teenager's chest.

Utah defensive whiz Andrei Kirilenko used that approach to hold Durant to 7-for-21 shooting and blocked Durant's attempt at a game-tying shot in the lane with three seconds remaining to help the Jazz hold on to beat the winless SuperSonics 103-101 on Friday night, Seattle's franchise record-tying sixth consecutive loss to begin the season.

"You need to be close to him. I tried to force myself into him, to make contact," said Kirilenko, who was named to the NBA's all-defensive team two seasons ago. "In the next few years, when he gains weight, it will be very hard to stop him. Right now, he's a little thin, and it's easier to hold him."

Carlos Boozer scored the go-ahead basket over Durant on a pick-and-roll with 17.6 seconds left and finished with 27 points -- 22 in the second half. Boozer also had 15 rebounds for his sixth double-double in six games for Utah, which won for the third time in four games and now heads home to face Memphis and Sacramento.

Yet all Boozer wanted to talk about was Kirilenko, who had 11 assists plus 10 points to go with his pestering of Durant. Deron Williams, whose bounce pass led to Boozer's go-ahead shot at the end, also finished 11 assists and had 14 points.

"He was everywhere," Boozer said of Kirilenko, who at 6-foot-9 is the same height as Durant. "He made Durant take a tough shot."

Kirilenko blocked four of Durant's shots. Twice in the third quarter Durant drove under the basket and had his layup stuffed by Kirilenko.

Durant finished with 20 points but is just 10-for-38 from the field in his last two games. For the second consecutive game, he didn't make his initial basket until midway through the second quarter.

Two nights after saying "I hate losing -- period," and adding he'd never lost five games in row in his life, the 19-year-old left the locker room without saying a word while flanked by a team spokesman.

Maybe Durant should adopt more of the approach of fellow rookie Jeff Green, though Green's relentlessly slashing style is not the game at which Durant is most comfortable right now.

Green, Seattle's fifth overall pick, had an early career-high 19 points off the bench while fearlessly banging into bigger bodies for the young, remade Sonics, who are starting their 41st and perhaps their final season in Seattle in a way that has many locals wishing they were already gone.

They must defeat rugged, playoff-tested Detroit at home Sunday night to avoid setting a dubious team mark to begin a season.

"They're an excellent basketball team," new Seattle coach P.J. Carlesimo said of Utah. "Hopefully we learned something from them tonight.

Carlesimo was pleased with his team's effort and overall improvement from previous second-half collapses against less-talented Memphis and Sacramento.

"Mostly, we learned something about our team, and it was very good," he said. "If we play that well in April, then I'll be proud."

The Sonics rallied from an 11-point deficit to take an 83-80 lead early in the fourth. Durant hit a runner in the lane while getting fouled, a 3-point play that gave Seattle its first edge since 2-0. But Boozer banged for 11 of Utah's next 20 points to put the Jazz back up 97-93 with four minutes left

Durant missed 11 of his first 15 shots before that 3-point play. He began driving inside more, like Green, after that.

"He didn't shoot well at the beginning. If I was in his spot, I would drive more, too. He did right," Kirilenko said.

Durant blocked a follow shot by Boozer and then sank a shot in the lane to tie the game at 101 with 1 minute to go. But Boozer answered with his decisive drive at the end.

Note

  • Jazz coach Jerry Sloan mostly sat in his bench seat and was more quiet than usual -- the result of having a root canal Thursday.
  • Carlesimo did not change his lineup, as he had promised. Durant, Wilcox, Earl Watson, Damien Wilkins and Robert Swift started again. He said those promised changes will likely come Sunday against Detroit, when F-C Kurt Thomas (hamstring strain) may be ready to make his Seattle debut. Likely to go: Swift, who was in foul trouble again. The 7-footer finished with no points and four fouls in 17 minutes.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Andrei Kirilenko's long arms make for a long shooting night for rookie Kevin Durant. (Getty Images)
Andrei Kirilenko's long arms make for a long shooting night for rookie Kevin Durant. (Getty Images)

Scoreboard
Utah (4-2) «28242625103
Seattle (0-6) 25212926101
UTA:C. Boozer 27 Pts
UTA:C. Boozer 15 Reb
UTA:A. Kirilenko 11 Ast
SEA:K. Durant 20 Pts
SEA:N. Collison 12 Reb
SEA:E. Watson 11 Ast
Players of the Game
SeattleUtah

J. Green

C. Boozer
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
194027154
Utah
D. Williams, PG407-150-0211214
A. Kirilenko, SF354-92-4811310
C. Boozer, PF3210-197-11154427
R. Brewer, SG315-86-631016
M. Okur, C306-120-030413
M. Harpring, SF175-81-121111
P. Millsap, PF170-31-27041
J. Collins, C163-40-13116
G. Giricek, SG142-60-01104
J. Hart, PG80-21-20211
C. Miles, SGDid Not Play
R. Price, PGDid Not Play
M. Almond, SGDid Not Play
K. Fesenko, CDid Not Play
Totals 42-8618-27443220103
 48.8%66.7% 
Seattle
K. Durant, SF367-215-751020
C. Wilcox, PF327-113-662217
D. Wilkins, SG314-94-522213
E. Watson, PG244-90-001108
R. Swift, C180-20-01040
J. Green, SF297-125-940419
N. Collison, C275-60-0120510
D. West, SG245-80-051210
J. Petro, C111-30-02032
W. Szczerbiak, SF90-42-21212
K. Thomas, PFDid Not Play
L. Ridnour, PGDid Not Play
M. Gelabale, SFDid Not Play
M. Sene, CDid Not Play
Totals 40-8519-29381923101
 47.1%65.5% 
Other Games
Tor 105 Final
Phi 103
Ind 87 Final
Char 96
Atl 83 Final
Bos 106
Pho 106 Final
Mia 101
Orl 112 Final
NY 102
SA 97 Final
NO 85
LAC 79 Final
Det 103
Den 118 Final
Wash 92
Mil 88 Final
Hou 104
Mem 98 Final
Port 110
Min 93 Final
LAL 107
Cle 93 Final
Sac 91