Notebook: With reserve power, bench figures add up
One day after the depth of the Seattle bench was tested in a 104-99 victory against the Clippers, the Sonics entered Staples Center enthralled with the performance of their reserves...
Special to The Seattle Times
LOS ANGELES — One day after the depth of the Seattle bench was tested in a 104-99 victory against the Clippers, the Sonics entered Staples Center enthralled with the performance of their reserves.
The Sonics got 49 points and 19 rebounds and benefited from three scorers in double figures Tuesday. Vladimir Radmanovic scored 18 points in 30 minutes. Antonio Daniels scored 10 in 29 minutes, and Danny Fortson scored 11 in 22 minutes. Ronald Murray and Nick Collison combined for 10 points.
"That's a good thing for a team like us," Fortson said. "It's definitely a confidence builder to show that we can win games on defense with our bench scrapping it out."
The bench's performance became especially important. The Sonics survived a scare in the first quarter when forward Rashard Lewis left the game after he was accidentally kneed in the thigh.
Lewis, who scored nine points in 24 minutes, was cleared to play yesterday after the team's morning meeting.
Associate head coach Dwane Casey said the performance of the bench showed that the Sonics, the fourth team to reach 25 victories this season, are capable of winning without wearing out their starters.
"It helps a lot, especially in managing minutes," Casey said. "When you don't have to wear guys like Ray (Allen) and Rashard down. (The bench) knows their role and what they're supposed to do when they get on the court."
Casey, in his 11th season with the Sonics, coached the team last night while Nate McMillan was in Raleigh, N.C., to attend the funeral of his aunt.
McMillan is expected to return tomorrow when the Sonics begin a five-game home stand with a 7:30 p.m. tipoff against the Golden State Warriors.
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