Seattle snaps 11-game skid

Associated Press The SuperSonics' Jeff Green, right, puts up a shot as the Trail Blazers' LaMarcus Aldridge, center, and Joel Przybilla (10) defend Monday in Seattle.

SEATTLE - During any lull in the action, the chant of "Save Our Sonics!" began its crescendo, until it seemed the entire building was chanting at times.

Timeouts, dead balls, it didn't matter. Even during free throws, as Seattle's Kevin Durant found out.

"Messed me up a little bit," Durant said. "But I heard them and that's something I love. The crowd was into it tonight and that shows they're going to stick behind us."

Durant scored 23 points and the SuperSonics snapped their 11-game losing streak with a 97-84 win over the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday night.

But the overwhelming tone of this night was the future of the Sonics and the potential end of the I-5 rivalry with the Blazers.

With Sonics owner Clay Bennett pressing to move his team to Oklahoma City as early as next season, Monday night may have been the final time the longtime rivals faced off just 180 miles apart. The series started in 1970 and the Sonics hold a 98-94 lead.

The fact it could be the final meeting in Seattle wasn't lost on Portland coach Nate McMillan, whose No. 10 hangs in the Key Arena rafters after being retired by the Sonics.

"It's still hard for me to believe," McMillan said before the game about Seattle's potential move.

If he needed any reminder during the game, McMillan just needed to look right of the Portland bench, where a large group of supporters purchased a block of tickets, holding signs and leading chants showing their support for keeping the NBA in Seattle.

In response, a noticeable security presence was at the arena. A Sonics spokesman said the increased security was because of information received that fans may try and disrupt the game. There were no incidents, just the end of Seattle's second losing streak of 10 or more games this season.

"As we got going in the second half and when we made our runs and opened up the lead, they got into the game," Seattle coach P.J. Carlesimo said. "Our fans have been great all year."

Martell Webster led Portland with 22 points, but 15 came in the first quarter when the Seattle native hit four 3-pointers.


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