A winless Seattle SuperSonics team faced off against the upstart Detroit Pistons at home Sunday night, but couldn’t complete a comeback victory, falling 105-101, despite optimistic performances from rookies Jeff Green and Kevin Durant.
After a lopsided first half in favour of the Pistons, the Sonics clawed their way back to tie the game on a Kurt Thomas midrange jumper with 2:39 remaining in the final period.
It was super rookie Kevin Durant, who despite an unimpressive first half, combined with veteran Kurt Thomas to orchestrate the late game rally. But a couple of big jumpers from Durant and some big rebounds from Thomas would not be enough to reclaim the lead for the first time since a Damien Wilkins jumper put them up 2-0 in the first quarter.
After starting the game with a God-like touch from the field, the visiting Pistons quickly cooled off, finishing the game at 43.2%, far off their blistering first quarter mark of 64%.
In the first half, it was the gangly freshmen Green who stood out for the Sonics. With with 15 points in the first half and 17 in the game, it was Green who kept the Sonics on the doorstep despite Detroit’s best efforts to run away with a blowout.
Green, appropriately known as Seattle’s other rookie, flourished on the break for the Sonics, tracking down loose balls and errant long passes before running them in for a series of awkward crams and fallaway layups.
Unfortunately for Sonics fans, the combined efforts of Durant and Green would not be enough to put away the Detroit Pistons on this night.
Thanks to a mind-numbingly hot start, Richard Hamilton and his blue and red accomplices shot, drained and drilled jumpers until the scoreboard had them up by more than double their opponents before the end of the first frame.
At one point in the second quarter the Sonics found themselves facing a 23-point deficit in front of their beloved fans, but recovered towards the end of the first half and again in the third quarter.
After jumpstarting their brilliant first half, Pistons guard Hamilton finished the game with 32 points. Chipping in for Detroit was Rasheed Wallace and newly-acquired reserve Jarvis Hayes who added 15 and 14 points respectively. Forward Antonio McDyess finished with 15 points and 15 rebounds.
The excellent second half by Kevin Durant bumped him to the top of the Seattle box score with 19 points.
Both teams are back in action on Tuesday, Nov. 13, the Sonics when they face the Orlando Magic in Orlando, and the Pistons when they continue their west coast trip in Portland.