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Allen lifts SuperSonics over Nets

Nov 21, 2006 - 5:47 AM SEATTLE (Ticker) -- The Seattle SuperSonics tightened up their struggling defense, and Ray Allen did the rest.

Allen scored 29 points and the SuperSonics delivered a dominant defensive fourth quarter in a 99-87 victory over the New Jersey Nets.

Seattle, which entered giving up an average of 103.5 points per game, held an opponent under 100 points for just the fourth time this season.

But despite trailing, 70-66, through three quarters, the Sonics limited the Nets to just 17 points in the final session.

"I thought we did a pretty good job," Seattle coach Bob Hill said. "They didn't have very good spacing, and that helped us out a little bit. In the fourth quarter, our guys were pretty focused."

Allen, who shot 11-of-21 from the floor, scored 26 points over the first three periods before giving way to Luke Ridnour, who finished with nine points and helped the Sonics pull away.

Allen was also part of a defensive effort that limited Vince Carter to 10 points over the last three quarters.

"I just think when teams start the games, they are figuring the defense out," Allen said. "Vince got hot and set us back. As the game wore on, we kept our bodies on him and forced him to pass the ball."

Ridnour hit a 3-pointer with 3:59 remaining to give Seattle an 86-83 lead and later sank a clutch jumper with 2:17 left to give Seattle a 90-84 advantage.

"They made shots," Carter said. "I think we had the same energy and the same effort, it's just the shots they didn't make in the first half went down in the second half."

Rashard Lewis chipped in 20 points for Seattle, which snapped a three-game losing streak.

Carter scored 27 points while Nenad Krstic added 16 for the Nets, who came off their worst offensive performance of the season in an 86-68 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers.

"They had more intensity," said Carter, who had eight of New Jersey's 22 turnovers. "When you make shots, your energy level picks up and the crowd gets into it. I had a couple of costly turnovers that really hurt us."

New Jersey small forward Richard Jefferson returned after missing five games with a sprained left ankle and scored nine points.

It was the first time this season New Jersey lost after leading for the first three quarters.

"It happens, and we need to learn from it," New Jersey coach Lawrence Frank said. "We didn't put together stops."

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