Sunday, April 13, 2008

Sonics leave Seattle a winner

SEATTLE – The storybook ending was staring Jason Terry in the face exactly 23 feet and nine inches away. Sometimes storybooks get fumbled.

Terry found himself wide open with a chance to take the lead in the final minute against his hometown team, but he bobbled the ball first and, despite getting up a clean look, couldn’t get the dramatic ending the Mavericks were looking for in perhaps the last NBA game ever played in Seattle.

If the SuperSonics do indeed split for wheat-filled pastures, their last Seattle memory is a victory for a city and a team that has had few during the relocation saga of the last several years. The Sonics rallied late to upend the Mavs 99-95 Sunday night at Key Arena.

The Mavs (50-31) failed to lock down the No. 7 playoff seed in the Western Conference for the second consecutive night after clinching a playoff berth with Thursday’s win over Utah. Dallas still needs one win or Nuggets loss to clinch seventh with the regular season regular down to one game for each.

The Mavs host New Orleans on Wednesday at American Airlines Center. Denver (49-32) finishes with Memphis the same night, but Golden State (48-32) still remains in the playoff hunt. The Mavs and Nuggets can only be seventh or eighth. The Warriors can’t get above eighth.

“We’ve taken a deep breath after we beat Utah and we hadn’t had the same focus,” Avery Johnson said. “So we’ve got to get that focus back before the playoffs start whatever position that we end up in.”

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