Durant helps Sonics snap 11-game slideMar 25, 2008 - 5:39 AM By Paul Lowenberg PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer
SEATTLE (Ticker) - The drought is finally over.
Rookie Kevin Durant scored 22 points to lead five others in double figures as the shorthanded Seattle SuperSonics put an end to their 11-game losing streak with Monday's 97-84 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers.
Damien Wilkins shined off the bench with 20 points and seven rebounds and Jeff Green scored 16 for Seattle, which won its first game since March 2 at Minnesota.
It was the Sonics' longest losing streak since dropping a franchise-record 14 in a row earlier this season.
"Eleven in a row, that's tough," Durant said. "It's kind of like we got the monkey off our back for a little bit. Even with the losses we've had, we've still been playing well on offense, but the defense just wasn't there. But we showed a lot on defense, contesting shots and getting out an running."
Durant's 3-pointer triggered an aggressive 12-3 run to help the Sonics forge a 71-61 advantage with 1:39 remaining in the third quarter.
Johan Petro scored all of his 10 points in the period as Seattle held a commanding 22-10 edge.
"In the second half, particularly in the third quarter, we defended very well," Sonics coach P.J. Carlesimo said. "They missed some shots, but our contest number was the best we've had all year. And we rebounded really well. We only had 10 turnovers, and that's exceptional. We did a lot of things well, and that's really good to see."
Jarrett Jack completed a rare four-point play to trim the Blazers' deficit to 79-71 with 9:32 left in the fourth, but Seattle was able to hold on for the win.
"We are playing much better basketball than that," Blazers coach Nate McMillan said. "I don't know where that came from. You've got to want it, and you've got to want to go out and take it, no matter what the team's record is."
The Sonics played without starters Earl Watson (finger) and Chris Wilcox (pinkie) due to various injuries.
Martell Webster had 17 of his 22 points before halftime as Portland (37-34) fell 6 1/2 games behind eighth-place Golden State (43-27) in the Western Conference standings.
Seattle native Brandon Roy was held to 11 points on 5-of-17 shooting in 40 minutes for the Blazers.
"We had open looks, we just missed a lot of shots," Roy said. "I don't know what happened. We just went flat there in the third quarter."
SEATTLE 97 FINAL
Mar 25 12:21 AM
SEATTLE 71 END, 3RD QTR
Mar 24 11:51 PM
SEATTLE 49 HALFTIME
Mar 24 11:07 PM
SEATTLE 21 END, 1ST QTR
Mar 24 10:35 PM
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