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Allen, Gelabale spark late Sonics rally past Timberwolves

Jan 27, 2007 - 7:21 AM SEATTLE (Ticker) -- Veteran Ray Allen received some assistance from an unheralded rookie to help the Seattle SuperSonics hand the Minnesota Timberwolves a sixth straight defeat.

Mickael Gelabale, who collected a season-high 17 points and eight rebounds, delivered a pair of key plays in the final 30 seconds to help the SuperSonics rally for a 102-100 victory over the slumping Timberwolves.

Allen scored 36 points to pace the SuperSonics, who have won four of their last five games.

Seattle trailed, 100-95, before Allen nailed a 3-pointer with 1:01 remaining. After a Minnesota turnover, Gelabale made a jump shot from the right wing to forge a tie with 29 seconds to play.

"I just hoped that I could hit the shot because it's my job," Gelabale said.

"I think as a team we give him the confidence," Allen said. "He has shot enough jump shots and made enough moves in practice. That's where it is the toughest. In games I hope it becomes a little easier for him. He has definitely grown a lot."

With 13 seconds left, Timberwolves All-Star Kevin Garnett missed a jumper and Gelabale snared the rebound in traffic, getting fouled by fellow rookie Craig Smith in the process. The Frenchman split a pair of free throws, giving the hosts a 101-100 edge with 11.8 seconds to go.

"Mickael Gelabale hit some big shots tonight, but if we had the tape of the game of the things he did defensively, the stops he made, the steals he go, the rebounds he got, I mean, the kid played," Sonics coach Bob Hill said. "His points were important but all the other things that the guy did were just as important in the game."

After a timeout, the Timberwolves got the ball into the hands of Garnett, who immediately was double-teamed by Allen and Chris Wilcox. Garnett passed the ball to Trenton Hassell, but the forward missed a jumper from the left baseline and Garnett was whistled for shoving Earl Watson out of the way to grab the rebound with three-tenths of a second left.

"We just kept getting to the basket and (Garnett) had to get the ball out to Hassell, and Hassell had a good look at it," Allen said. "He made the right play. Hassell had a good look at it. I'm glad he missed because we have been on the other end of that equation where a guy has made that shot."

Watson made 1-of-2 free throws for a two-point edge and Minnesota could not get a shot off before time expired.

"They made plays," interim Timberwolves coach Randy Wittman said of the Sonics. "You've got to give Seattle credit. Ray's three in the corner was huge. We were up five at that time. Gelabale got the leakout for a layup and then we foul on the rebound."

Smith scored a season-high 26 points and Garnett added 17, 10 rebounds and nine assists in the defeat.

"I am definitely not happy with my playing on this whole trip," Garnett said. "I have got to do something to turn it up a notch and take my game to the next level. I need to be a lot more aggressive than what I have. I am in no kind of flow like I would like to be."

Minnesota lost despite making half of its 78 shots from the floor. Seattle shot 46 percent (41-of-89).

"I can't fault our guys' effort," Wittman said. "Again, we've got to find ways to make plays at the end of the game, especially on the road."

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