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Hawks Soar Over Seattle


Isaiah Rider put an upset stomach out of mind with a second-half scoring spree.

Rider scored 22 of his 24 points in the second half as the Atlanta Hawks beat the Seattle SuperSonics 95-87 on Friday night.

"Once I made a couple of shots in a row, I was able to concentrate more and forget about how I felt," Rider said.

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  • Rider scored 12 points in the fourth quarter when the Hawks outscored the Sonics 29-13 and outrebounded them 15-8.

    "I guess it was my turn to get hot in the second half," Rider said.

    Sonics coach Paul Westphal was disappointed with his team's performance in the fourth quarter.

    "We had a lead and let it get away. We just went dead in the water," Westphal said.

    The Hawks controlled Gary Payton in the second half, holding the Seattle star to three points on 1-for-8 shooting and forcing him into three turnovers.

    "We put a bigger guy on Gary and tried to get help on him whenever we could," Hawks coach Lenny Wilkens said. "That helped to limit his postups."

    Jim Jackson added 23 points for the Hawks, who won their second straight road game and ended the SuperSonics' four-game home winning streak.

    Atlanta outscored Seattle 29-13 in the fourth quarter, shooting 9-of-17 from the field while the Sonics were 4-for-19. Rider had 12 points during the quarter and Chris Crawford added seven.

    "We have been playing well," Crawford said. "We slowed Payton down and you can only do that by doubling him. There's not a player in the league who can stop him 1-on-1."

    The Sonics managed just one basket the last four minutes of the game Payton's layup with 43 seconds remainng.

    Down by eight at 78-70, the Hawks used a 12-0 run to take an 82-78 lead with 5:37 left. Rider had seven points during the run and Crawford added five.

    Vin Baker, Payton and Ruben Patterson each scored 21 points for the Sonics. Payton also had 16 assists.

    Ahead 61-58, the Sonics ran off eight straight points, capped by Patterson's double-pump runner over Dikembe Mutombo and free throw for a 69-58 lead with 4:22 left in the third period.

    After scoring just two points in the first half, Rider scored the first eight points of the third period for the Hawks.

    Atlanta led by as many as four points during the second period. Payton scored the last six points of the half on two layups and two free throws to give Seattle a 50-45 lead at halftime. Payton had 18 points in the first half, and Baker had 16.

    Jackson topped the Hawks with 14 points in the opening half.

    The Sonics opened the game with an 18-4 burst, but Atlanta countered with a 20-4 spurt led by Jackson's 10 points to take a two-point lead.

    Notes

  • Payton came over to the Hawks bench and hugged Wilkens after the coach was introduced. Wilkens, the NBA's career victory leader and also one of the league's 50 greatest players, played for the Sonics from 1968-1972 and coached them to their only NBA title in 1979.
  • Seattle's Brent Barry made a 3-pointer for the 14th straight game. He missed three attempts in the first half, but connected on his first try in the third period.

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