Congrats to Rolando Blackman who earned his degree in social science from
Kansas State December 14!

Dallas Mavericks at Seattle Sonics  (December 22)

Jason Kidd did not play due to a strained neck.  Kidd is also questionable
for Thursday's game vs Golden State and Saturday's game vs Seattle.

The game was tied 6-6 3 minutes into the game.  Seattle scored the next 6
points to go up 12-6 with 7:10 remaining.  George McCloud hit his 2nd
3-pointer and then the teams traded 2 points.  Eric Montross had the shot 
of the night when he had his back fully to the basket and tossed the ball 
up over his head and in.  Seattle led 18-13 with 5:30 remaining.  Neither 
team looked very smooth.  Gary Payton gathered a T for trash talking after 
the ref had warned him and Derek Harper to stop the smack.  Seattle led 
28-21 after 1.  Payton had 11 points and McCloud had 9 points (all 3s).

Seattle led 35-26 after Payton drove for the layup with 9:10 to go.
Oliver Miller made a nice pass into Chris Gatling for the easy layup to
cut Seattle's lead to 37-30 with 6:30 remaining.  Seattle scored the next
7 points capped by an alley-oop from Payton to Shawn Kemp for the jam to
put Seattle up 44-30 with 3:48 left.  Dallas scored the next 6 points to
cut Seattles lead down to 44-36 with 2:25 left.  Payton surrounded a
technical free throw from Jim Jackson (Seattle illegal D) and 5 points
from McCloud with two layups to end the half.  Seattle led 50-45 at the 
half.  Seattle shot 45% (17-38) FG and Dallas shot 46% (17-37) FG.  
Seattle shot 14-21 FT and Dallas shot 6-7 FT.  Payton had 17 points and 
Kemp had 10 points.  McCloud had 14 points, Harper had 9 points, and 
Jackson had 8 points.

Jackson opened the 3rd with a 3-pointer and McCloud followed with another
3-pointer to give Dallas the lead at 51-50 with 10:40 remaining.  Seattle
then went on an 8-1 run to go up 58-52 with 6:58 left.  McCloud hit a
3-pointer to break the run, but Seattle then rattled off the next 6
points.  Seattle led 67-56 with 3:47 left after 2 Payton free throws.
Dallas scored the last 3 points of the quarter to cut Seattle's lead down
to 70-63.  Payton had 22 points, Kemp had 12 points, and McCloud had 20

After a sloppy first few minutes of play, Seattle led 72-65 with 9:45
left.  Payton then scored 5 points and Eric Snow hit 2 free throws to put
Seattle up 79-65 with 7:32 remaining.  Seattle did a good job of trying to
keep Gatling out of the game by doubling him whenever he got the ball.
Seattle still led by 14 at 86-72 with 2:24 left.  The Mavs were not able
to establish a run and Seattle won 93-79.

Seattle shot 51.9% (30-71) FG and Dallas shot 36.7% (28-69) FG, but where
Seattle really won the game was at the free throw line.  Seattle shot
30-42 FT and Dallas shot 13-18 FT.  Seattle also out-rebounded the Mavs
48-31 including 17-7 offensive [man, do we ever miss Popeye].  Gary Payton
had an awesome night and finished with 31 points on 11-15 FG and 8-13 FT.
George McCloud was hot behind the arc and hit for 7-9 3-pointers (his 2
other points came from the free throw line).

George Karl: "Defensively, we were real sound all night long and that was 
giving us confidence.  Offensively, the game was kind of slow and sloppy 
and a lot of whistles were blown.  But I thought defensively we were 
always in the game."

Hersey Hawkins: "We accomplished what we wanted to this week and that was 
to win all 4 games.  Today was going to be the toughest game, I think 
just because you are looking forward to the [Christmas] break."

Hawkins: "Gary [Payton] had a good week.  He's getting to the basket and 
more importantly, he's setting up the other guys, passing the ball well."

Jim Cleamons: "I did not think we played that poorly, except for the 
rebounding.  Obviously, there's a huge discrepancy from the free throw 
line, but overall I thought our performance was good."

Cleamons: "We lacked the athleticism, the ability to get rebounds.  There
are balls bouncing around there and we can't catch them."

Cleamons: "It's hard to score a lot of points when you shoot 40 percent.
We got good looks, we've just got to shoot the ball better."
Derek Harper: "It was easy for [Payton] to get his rhythm because he got 
so many easy baskets.  Gary is probably playing as well as any point 
guard in the league."

Harper: "Jason's a huge loss, that's no secret, but it really showed up
tonight.  I let Gary get into a good rhythm early and that's bad news 
against a player like him."

Jamal Mashburn: "I don't know how to explain it.  The better teams like 
Seattle seem to move the ball so fluidly and effortlessly.  For some 
reason we become stagnant.  We're trying to figure it out, asking 
ourselves the same question."

Chris Gatling: "They shot 42 and us 18 [free throws].  At least give us a
couple more and make it half.  We're not a winning team so we're not 
getting the calls.  It's very frustrating.  One time my headband was way 
up on my head, and I know I didn't put it there."

Gatling: "[Seattle does] the same things we do, just a little better.  If
we have to take a page out of their book and put it into ours, that's
what we should do.  That's not a bad team to pattern yourself after."
Dal-Sea boxscore

Patricia Bender
Not affiliated with or representing anyone besides myself.