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Denver at Seattle

Nuggets stumble in double-overtime shootout against Sonics

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

SEATTLE -- Touted rookies Kevin Durant and Jeff Green both had career-best efforts for the Seattle SuperSonics and damaged the Denver Nuggets' postseason aspirations.

Durant, the second overall pick in the 2007 draft and the leading candidate for rookie of the year, scored a season-high 37 points and Green, the fifth pick, had a season-high 35 to lead the Sonics to a 151-147 double-overtime victory against Denver on Sunday night.

"My teammates were making plays and I was just there finishing them," Green said.

The loss kept the Nuggets (46-31) in a tie with Golden State for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. The Warriors lost to New Orleans 108-96 earlier Sunday.

"Career nights from two people," Denver's Allen Iverson said. "You have two 30-point scorers and other guys doing what they did out there, what can you say? They were the better team tonight."

Green, whose previous high was 23 points, scored 24 in the second half and overtimes. His five quick points to start the second overtime gave the draft lottery-bound Sonics (18-59) the winning cushion.

Durant was coming off his worst shooting night of the season, going 2-for-17 to finish with four points in a loss to Houston on Friday night.

Carmelo Anthony, who scored 47 points Saturday in a 118-115 loss to Sacramento, led the Nuggets with 38 points. Iverson added 26 points and Kenyon Martin had 22.

The loss was against a team the Nuggets had beaten three times this season by an average of 37 points. Only three weeks ago, the Nuggets routed the Sonics 168-116. The 52-point victory margin was the widest in Denver's history and the Nuggets' point total was the highest in the NBA this season.

"We owed those guys," Durant said. "They came beat us badly the last two times."

This was the first of four consecutive road games for Denver. They will visit the Clippers on Tuesday, Golden State on Thursday and Utah on Saturday. The Nuggets dropped to 16-22 on the road, the worst among the West's postseason contenders.

"We've got to get all three of them," Nuggets guard J.R. Smith said. "We got to beat Golden Sate because they're right on our heels. We owe Utah and we got to beat the Clippers just to stay ahead.

"If we don't play, we'll be sitting at home watching the playoffs."

Seattle, which led by six at intermission, had an 11-point lead until a 17-9 run by the Nuggets pulled them to 86-83 with 4:39 left in the third.

However, an alley-oop dunk -- plus a free throw -- by Green, on a pass from Durant with 4:12 left charged up the crowd. The Sonics rode that momentum, holding off the Nuggets to maintain a 99-95 lead entering the fourth quarter.

The Nuggets finally went ahead for the first time in the second half, 105-103, on a fastbreak basket by Smith with 9:26 left. The lead then changed hands seven times and was tied four times over the final nine minutes of regulation.

Linas Kleiza's 3-pointer with 1:06 left gave the Nuggets a 126-123 lead. Coming out of a timeout, Durant answered with a 3 from the top of the key with 22 seconds left to send the game into overtime.

Green scored 14 of points in the fourth.

Neither team led by more than five points in the first overtime. Anthony hit a 24-footer with 1:37 left for a 132-130 lead. Green's shot was then blocked by Marcus Camby. Iverson followed with a 3-pointer from the right side for a 135-130 lead with 1:01 left.

After Durant hit a pair of free throws with 32.1 seconds left to make it 135-132, Iverson missed 22-footer from the left side with 11.9 seconds left. After a timeout, Durant hit a 30-foot 3 with 5.1 seconds left to tie the score.

Martin missed a 24-footer as time expired to force a second overtime.

Held to a season-low 66 points Friday, the Sonics had their most points in a half this season, leading 70-64 at the break.

"They played with a ton of heart and they didn't give in," Sonics' coach P.J. Carlesimo said. "They competed. I just thought it was a great effort."

The Sonics need to win all of their final five games merely to match their franchise-low mark of 23 victories -- set in their inaugural season of 1967-68.

Notes

  • Entering the game, the Nuggets had won the first three meetings against the Sonics by an average of 37 points.
  • The Sonics will play three consecutive road games in Texas this week, including Friday in San Antonio. It will be the team's first visit to San Antonio, where Carlesimo was an assistant last season.
  • Nuggets coach George Karl said before the game that there was no comfort in the fact that Denver had dominated the Sonics this season. "There's never this (large) of a gap between NBA teams. It's just doesn't exist," he said. "The truth of the matter is all NBA teams are fairly bunched together. They're a capable NBA team."
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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Seattle rookie Kevin Durant exults after his 30-foot trey ties the game late in regulation.  (AP)
Seattle rookie Kevin Durant exults after his 30-foot trey ties the game late in regulation. (AP)
Scoreboard
Denver (46-31) 36283131912147
Seattle (18-59) «31392927916151
DEN:C. Anthony 38 Pts
DEN:M. Camby 13 Reb
DEN:A. Iverson 13 Ast
SEA:K. Durant 37 Pts
SEA:N. Collison 14 Reb
SEA:E. Watson 11 Ast
Players of the Game
SeattleDenver

K. Durant

C. Anthony
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
378938113

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Denver
A. Iverson, SG567-2110-15313226
M. Camby, C484-84-4134212
C. Anthony, SF4817-312-3113538
K. Martin, PF4610-162-493522
A. Carter, PG313-83-444411
L. Kleiza, SF246-112-412417
E. Najera, PF223-52-212210
J. Smith, SG164-72-322211
C. Atkins, PGDid Not Play
S. Hunter, PFDid Not Play
Nene, PFDid Not Play
Y. Diawara, SGDid Not Play
T. Green, PGDid Not Play
Totals 54-10727-39443326147
 50.5%69.2% 
Seattle
K. Durant, SF5111-2413-1389237
J. Green, SF4914-215-6103235
N. Collison, C479-131-1143519
E. Watson, PG447-172-2611616
J. Petro, C153-50-00046
L. Ridnour, PG359-141-248319
F. Elson, C193-80-04026
D. Wilkins, SG194-113-440111
D. Marshall, PF71-30-00022
A. Griffin, SG50-00-02100
C. Wilcox, PFDid Not Play
R. Swift, CDid Not Play
R. Dupree, SFDid Not Play
M. Gelabale, SFDid Not Play
M. Sene, CDid Not Play
Totals 61-11625-28523527151
 52.6%89.3% 
Other Games
GS 96 Final
NO 108
Dal 105 Final
Pho 98
Det 91 Final
Mia 75
Mil 97 Final
Ind 105
SA 72 Final
Port 65
Mem 113 Final
Min 101
Orl 90 Final
NY 100
LAL 114 Final
Sac 92
Hou 105 Final
LAC 79