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Originally published April 3, 2007 at 12:00 AM | Page modified April 5, 2007 at 8:33 AM

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Sonics look for respect against Spurs

If the trend between the Sonics and the San Antonio Spurs continues, then Seattle is likely to lose tonight's game at the AT&T Center...

Seattle Times staff reporter

SAN ANTONIO — If the trend between the Sonics and the San Antonio Spurs continues, then Seattle is likely to lose tonight's game at the AT&T Center by at least 50 points.

Three defeats against the Spurs this season have produced nothing but miserable memories, and each loss was worse than the one before.

In November, the Sonics lost by 20.

In February, they lost by 31.

And last week, they were embarrassed in a 41-point trouncing.

Sonics at San Antonio Spurs


5 tonight at AT&T Center

TV/Radio: FSN/770 AM

Records: Sonics 30-43, San Antonio 52-21

Injuries: Sonics — G Ray Allen (left ankle bone spurs), F Danny Fortson (toothache) and F Andre Brown (broken nose) are out. Spurs — None.

Percy Allen

P Spurs HT PPG R/A
F T. Duncan 6-11 20.1 10.7 R
F B. Bowen 6-7 6.3 2.8 R
C F. Elson 7-0 4.9 4.9 R
G B. Barry 6-7 8.6 2.1 R
G T. Parker 6-2 18.5 5.6 A
P Sonics HT PPG R/A
F C. Wilcox 6-10 13.1 7.7 R
F R. Lewis 6-10 22.3 6.8 R
C N. Collison 6-10 9.8 8.2 R
G D. Wilkins 6-6 8.3 2.8 R
G L. Ridnour 6-1 11.4 5.2 A

"We got to make it respectful," forward Rashard Lewis said. "We feel like every time we played them, they blew us out of the water in the first half and it wasn't even a game in the second half. ... We got to come out here and play these guys early in the first quarter and not let them set the tempo."

Making matters worse, the Sonics are short-handed. Reserve forward Andre Brown is staying in Seattle to undergo surgery for a broken a nose he suffered last week against Denver.

However, Danny Fortson's absence was a bit of a surprise. According to a team spokesperson, the reserve forward told the team he had a toothache and was scheduled to see a dentist.

Fortson appeared fine before Sunday's 114-103 defeat to Denver and spoke of anticipating the end of a season beset by injuries and gave no indication he was in pain. But apparently, the discomfort is so severe he'll not only miss tonight's game but is expected to remain in Seattle for Wednesday's game against the New Orleans Hornets in Oklahoma City.

The toothache excuse is just the latest in a season of bizarre injuries for Fortson. Early in January, Hill said Fortson didn't accompany the team on a two-game trip to Golden State and Phoenix because he feared his sore right knee would swell on the flights.

Already without All-Star guard Ray Allen, who will undergo ankle surgeries, the Sonics (30-43) will have just 10 players in uniform against San Antonio (52-21), which still has a chance of catching Phoenix for the No. 2 playoff berth.

"I'm quite sure, they have a lot of confidence [playing] against us," Sonics forward Chris Wilcox said.

Seattle hasn't scored more than 79 points against San Antonio this season, while yielding an average of 107 points.

"A team beats you so many times, it's almost like you got to give them your best punch," said reserve guard Earl Watson, who poured in a career-high 28 points on Sunday. "It's like going to school and the bully picks on you every day. Sooner or later you got to stand up for yourself, and that's what it's about.

"It's not about spoiling their playoff chances or anything like that. We just got to give them our best punch. Obviously, we haven't done that yet and this is our last chance to do that."

Percy Allen: 206-464-2278 or pallen@seattletimes.com

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