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Sonics Cool Off Pacers

Vin Baker tied his career high with 41 points as Seattle snapped Indiana's seven-game winning streak, 104-97 Wednesday night.

Baker made 16 of 22 shots from the field and grabbed 11 rebounds as the Sonics improved their NBA-best record to 37-10.

Detlef Schrempf scored 24 points and Gary Payton had 17 points and 14 assists for the Sonics, who won their fourth in a row.

Reggie Miller scored 25 points for the Pacers, who have the best record in the East at 33-13. Rick Smits had 19 points and 11 rebounds for Indiana.

The Sonics outscored the Pacers 19-4 in the first 7:18 of the fourth quarter to take a 94-76 lead before Indiana came back to cut the deficit to 98-93 on a 16-footer by Miller with 1:06 left.

Baker, who scored 14 points in the final period, made a 15-footer with 46.9 seconds left. Miller shot the Pacers back into contention with 10 points in the fourth quarter.

Dale Ellis' 3-pointer keyed the Sonics' 19-4 run in the final period. Baker scored six points during the spurt, including two free throws, a tip-in and an alley-oop dunk.

The Sonics led 65-57 in the third quarter before the Pacers came back to cut Seattle's lead to 75-72 going into the final period. Chris Mullin hit a pair of 3-pointers during the Pacers' rally.

Baker, acquired from Milwaukee in a three-team deal on Sept. 25, scored 21 points in the first half as the Sonics took a 50-45 lead.

Notes:

  • George Karl of the Sonics will coach the West and Larry Bird of the Pacers will coach the East in Sunday's All-Star game in New York. ...
  • The Sonics beat the Pacers for the 18th time in 24 games in Seattle. ...
  • Seattle beat the Pacers for the second time this season. ...
  • The Pacers bench outscored Seattle's reserves 25-13. ...
  • The Sonics won despite shooting only 4-for-16 from 3-point range. They went 2-for-14 before Ellis and Perkins made Seattle's final two. ...
  • Indiana gave up 100 points for only the fifth time this season.

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