SEATTLE -- What a homecoming it turned out to be for Marvin Williams.
Reporters swarmed around Williams in the locker room after he scored a career-high 33 points to lead the Atlanta Hawks to a 99-90 victory that extended the Seattle SuperSonics' losing streak to a franchise-record tying 13 games.
Williams, who grew up in Bremerton, just a ferry ride away from Seattle, had 16 points in the first half as the Hawks blew away the Sonics early to end a four-game losing streak. He also scored 11 points in the fourth quarter to hold off a late rally by the Sonics.
"This could be maybe my last year ever playing up here so I was glad I had a big game and we got a win," said Williams, aware the Sonics could end up moving to Oklahoma City next season.
Williams missed Atlanta's game in Seattle last year with a broken hand and had an uneventful game in his hometown his rookie season two years ago.
Seattle tied the team-record of 13 consecutive losses set over the final five games of last season and the first eight this season.
"We've got to find something that's going to help us win," Wilcox said. "It's rough right now. It's rough on all of us."
Williams shot 12-for-20 from the field and 9-for-12 on free throws. He also had seven rebounds.
"As you go through this league and have the opportunity to go to your hometown and play in front of your family and friends, it's special," Atlanta coach Mike Woodson said. "If you can put on a show like he did, it makes it even more special. He was spectacular."
Atlanta led by as many as 24 points in the second half. The Sonics made a late run in the fourth quarter to get within nine points with 1:21 remaining.
But Williams stole the ball and drove the length of the court for a dunk with 58 seconds remaining.
Williams had a team-high 16 points in the first half to give the Hawks a 52-31 lead. They led by as many as 23 late in the second quarter.
The Sonics shot 30 percent (14-for-46) from the field in the first half. Durant was 4-for-14 in the half and finished 7-for-21.
The Sonics failed to make any kind of dent in the large deficit until a run in the fourth quarter cut the lead to nine points. Wilkins scored nine in the final quarter to lead the rally.
Williams scored on a variety of shots in the fourth quarter to hold off the Sonics. He scored on an inside move midway through the final quarter to break his career high of 26 points set against Miami in 2005-2006, the first-round picks' rookie season.
"That was a hell of game and that's what you want when you come home," Wilcox said. "He's a good player. He's definitely improved his game from his first year. He has started to hit his mid-range jump shot and he has confidence in it. Once you get the confidence, everything else falls into place."
There's not much confidence in the Sonics these days.
"I had some great looks," Durant said of his 14 missed shots. "That's what frustrates me the most, wide-open jump shots. But you can't put your head down. You need to keep shooting and keep being aggressive."
Durant hit a 3-pointer just before the buzzer as the Sonics beat Atlanta 126-123 in two overtimes Nov. 16. Damien Wilkins had 41 points to lead the Sonics to the win. Joe Johnson had 39 for the Hawks.
But the rematch belonged to Williams and the Hawks.
"The only time we were really in it was in the fourth quarter when we got it to nine," Seattle coach P.J. Carlesimo said. "When you don't shoot the ball well, you have to play well on the other end which we did not do until the second half."
Unlike the Sonics, Williams played well the entire game.
"They're just struggling right now," Williams said. "I know exactly how they feel. I was there at one point. They just have to keep working hard and get better and things will come together for them."
|Marvin Williams drops a career-best 33 points on the Sonics to extend their miserable streak. (AP)|
|Atlanta (18-21) «||23||29||26||21||99|
|ATL:M. Williams 33 Pts
ATL:A. Horford 16 Reb
ATL:J. Johnson 7 Ast
|SEA:C. Wilcox 18 Pts
SEA:C. Wilcox 7 Reb
SEA:L. Ridnour 4 Ast
|Players of the Game|
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|M. Williams, SF||39||12-20||9-12||7||2||1||33|
|A. Horford, PF||38||4-8||2-4||16||2||3||10|
|J. Johnson, SG||35||4-12||4-4||6||7||1||13|
|A. Johnson, PG||34||3-12||2-2||1||5||2||10|
|J. Smith, SF||34||5-13||4-4||5||2||6||14|
|J. Childress, SG||25||5-8||3-4||6||0||1||13|
|Z. Pachulia, C||17||3-4||0-0||6||1||4||6|
|A. Law, PG||14||0-5||0-0||2||0||2||0|
|S. Williams, PF||3||0-1||0-0||0||0||2||0|
|L. Wright, C||Did Not Play|
|T. Lue, PG||Did Not Play|
|S. Claxton, PG||Did Not Play|
|S. Stoudamire, SG||Did Not Play|
|S. Jones, PF||Did Not Play|
|M. West, SG||Did Not Play|
|Complete Box Score|
|C. Wilcox, PF||32||7-9||4-7||7||1||4||18|
|K. Durant, SF||32||7-21||3-3||2||0||3||17|
|E. Watson, PG||25||4-9||0-0||1||3||2||8|
|K. Thomas, PF||19||1-5||0-0||6||1||2||2|
|J. Green, SF||19||0-3||1-2||3||2||2||1|
|W. Szczerbiak, SF||25||1-8||0-0||3||2||1||2|
|L. Ridnour, PG||23||3-6||1-2||3||4||2||7|
|N. Collison, C||22||5-11||2-2||5||0||4||12|
|J. Petro, C||22||4-6||1-1||6||1||1||9|
|D. Wilkins, SG||21||4-10||6-6||5||3||1||14|
|R. Swift, C||Did Not Play|
|D. West, SG||Did Not Play|
|M. Gelabale, SF||Did Not Play|
|M. Sene, C||Did Not Play|
|Complete Box Score|