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Monday, December 4, 2000 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Payton leads Sonics past Jamison's 51

Seattle Times staff reporter

Not so long ago, the NBA's Pacific Division was the home of run-and-gun, offensive juggernauts. Teams would roll into each other's arenas and light up the scoreboard.

Last night's Sonic-Golden State game was a blast from the past for three quarters, ending in a 118-102 Seattle victory despite a career-high 51 points from Warrior forward Antawn Jamison.

Jamison was the man, but the Sonics were the team. Led by Gary Payton's season-high 38 points on 15-for-27 shooting, Seattle shot 56.6 percent. Four other Sonics scored in double figures, the supporting cast led by Ruben Patterson's 24 off the bench. That total was also a season-high for the third-year forward.

"He can score 100. I don't mind as long as we got a win," Payton said of Jamison, a third-year player from North Carolina. "As soon as we started getting rebounds, it was easier for us. For us to win games, we have to push the ball and get easy baskets and we have to rebound."

The Sonics (9-10) were losing the battle for the boards after three quarters, though they led 95-86 on the scoreboard. But the Sonics outrebounded Golden State, the NBA's top rebounding team, 15-7 in the fourth quarter. Payton finished with 12.

Both teams cooled slightly on offense in the final period, but up to that point, shots came almost like blinks of an eye. It conjured up images of Sonic-Warrior basket-fests of the 1980s and early 1990s.

"We could breathe tonight," Sonic Coach Nate McMillan said, referring to

Seattle's loss in high-altitude Denver on Saturday night. "We played an aggressive style of basketball. We went with a smaller, more aggressive lineup.

"The Western Conference has always been a running conference. I think it's fun for the fans and the players," McMillan added. We want to run, but also execute in our half-court offense."

The Sonics grabbed control for good in the third quarter, building an 87-67 lead on an 18-foot jump shot from Payton with 6:11 left in the quarter.

The Warriors answered with a 12-0 run that featured back-to-back three-point shots by Jamison, a Jamison steal and a pass to Larry Hughes for a layup and an Erick Dampier dunk. But Golden State (5-13) never cut the lead further.

A Payton three-pointer with 3:29 to play sent the Sonics over the 110-point mark and sent fans home with free fast food from Taco Bell.

The Sonics' shooting percentage was the highest in a game all season. It was the Sonics' fifth straight win over the Warriors and the ninth consecutive win over Golden State in Seattle.

Note

** Sonic forward Vin Baker missed his second straight game with a sore right knee. Baker's condition is day to day.

LAST NIGHT'S GAME

Sonics 118, Warriors 102

Golden State 29_27_30_16--102

Seattle 31_36_28_23--118

GOLDEN STATE -- Jamison 23-36 3-4 51, Porter 8-15 2-3 18, Dampier 2-3 7-10 11, Hughes 5-17 1-2 11, Sura 2-8 0-0 4, Del Negro 0-4 0-0 0, Blaylock 2-5 0-0 5, Jackson 0-2 0-0 0, Keefe 0-1 2-2 2. Totals 42-91 15-21 102.

SEATTLE -- Lewis 4-9 6-6 14, McCoy 6-6 1-3 13, Ewing 4-8 0-1 8, Davis 3-6 3-4 10, Payton 15-27 6-6 38, Barry 2-4 2-2 7, Patterson 8-12 8-8 24, Mason 0-2 0-0 0, Williams 1-2 2-2 4, Wolkowyski 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 43-76 28-32 118.

Three-point goals--Golden State 3-15 (Jamison 2-7, Blaylock 1-1, Porter 0-1, Hughes 0-2, Sura 0-4), Seattle 4-8 (Payton 2-4, Barry 1-1, Davis 1-3). Fouled out--None. Rebounds--Golden State 47 (Jamison 14), Seattle 45 (Lewis, Patterson 8). Assists--Golden State 30 (Hughes 11), Seattle 26 (Payton 12). Total fouls--Golden State 23, Seattle 22. A--11,669.

SATURDAY NIGHT'S SUMMARY

Nuggets 103, Sonics 92

Seattle 19 22 24 27-- 92

Denver 30 25 15 33--103

SEATTLE -- Lewis 10-19 2-2 26, McCoy 4-8 2-6 10, Ewing 2-6 2-2 6, E.Davis 5-9 0-0 14, Payton 7-25 0-0 14, Patterson 4-7 2-5 10, Barry 1-3 1-2 4, Mason 0-0 0-0 0, Wolkowyski 0-1 0-0 0, Williams 3-8 1-1 8. Totals 36-86 10-18 92.

DENVER -- McDyess 16-26 5-8 37, Posey 3-7 2-2 8, LaFrentz 5-12 0-0 11, Lenard 8-21 2-3 22, Van Exel 2-7 1-1 5, Abdul-Wahad 1-6 0-0 2, Clark 4-8 2-2 10, McCloud 3-8 2-2 8, Pack 0-1 0-0 0, Bowen 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 42-96 14-18 103.

Three-point goals--Seattle 10-23 (E.Davis 4-6, Lewis 4-7, Williams 1-2, Barry 1-3, Payton 0-5), Denver 5-19 (Lenard 4-12, LaFrentz 1-2, McCloud 0-1, Posey 0-1, Van Exel 0-3). Fouled out--LaFrentz. Rebounds--Seattle 53 (Lewis, McCoy 8), Denver 63 (McDyess 17). Assists--Seattle 21 (Payton 8), Denver 31 (Van Exel 20). Total fouls--Seattle 21, Denver 21. Technicals--Seattle coach McMillan. A--14,234.

Copyright (c) 2000 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.

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