I'm not going to be live blogging this game, but will make a few notes as I'm inspired.
Petro in the first 3 minutes of his first game in the NBA had a better stat line than James did in 1/2 the games last season. I'm not sure if that says more about James or Petro... (6 of the first 10 points, 2 boards and one foul, 2 of 2 FT's).
Collison was the first sub for Petro after Petro's second foul.
Nice to see a good start (up 14-4 unlike many games last season).
Reggie Evans goes on the book as the first Techincal Foul of the season for the Sonics. My money would have been on Fortson.
Flip Murray entered the game with 3:49ish left in the first quarter. It took him 8 seconds to put up a shot.
It took the Clippers a lot longer to get into their bench than the Sonics. The Sonics had put 9 players on the floor by the time Daniel Ewing entered for the Clips.
Most of the Clippers' shots have been coming from the left side of the floor. This is the case for many offenses, but what it tells is that many of the baskets are coming out of the offense, rather than through breakdowns.
Sonics 27 Clippers 26 at the end of the first quarter.
10:15 to go in the second quarter and only Swift and Moore have not see the court yet.
Fortson has 3 fouls, 0 points 0 rebounds and was just sent to the bench in favor of Collison, and Nick has an identical stat line.
Chris Kaman's player card photo on ESPN.com is the worst photo I think I have ever seen.
50-50 at half time. Second quarter seemed to start pretty sloppy.
Cassell with 17pts in the first half. That could be a problem.
5:18 3rd: Ray Allen has 21 points to lead all scorers on 9 of 15 shooting (3 of 5 from downtown). Very efficient.
Reggie Evans has played 20 minutes already. I did not expect him to log this many minutes, so it will be interesting to see how the 4/5 minute break down works itself out over the next few weeks.
3:49 3rd: Flip is back in for Luke. Let's see what Flip can do with Ray, Lewis, Collison, and Vlade on the floor with him. With this line up, unless Flip is wide open, he probably SHOULD NOT shoot. We'll see what happens.
2:46 3rd: Wilkins in for Lewis. Let's see if Wilkins can fill that spot. Lewis is 3 for 3 on 3's, but only 2 of 7 from the 2pt. area. Nice that he's shooting 50%, but I'd like to see him hit those shorter shots, especially the ones with him on the move or in the post, not shooting a spot up jumper.
Just eyeballing the final lines from the Knicks vs. Celtics tonight and saw that Jerome James played 8 minutes, 1 rebound, 1 block, 1 turn over, and had 4 points and 4 fouls. And this is against Mark Blount, Raef LaFrentz and Kendrick Perkins. Sorry Jerome, we don't miss you already.
End of 3rd: Sonics 75 Clippers 64 - nice push that quarter to open up an 11pt margin going into the 4th. Now we need a solid early 4th to stretch that margin out. A nice defensive quarter by the Sonics, holding the Clips to just 14 points.
Clippers have 9 blocks (unofficial) thus far. That's pretty solid. I don't know if they'll be able to keep that up all season, but they may have to with Sam "ET" Cassell in front of them.
Ugg...rather than putting their boot the the Clippers throats and not letting up, they have allowed them back into this game. Outscored at the start of the 4th 16-5. Not good.
4:11 4th: It's looking like this might come down to be a shoot out between Cassell and Allen. Cassell is hot, Allen is just Allen.
2:50 4th: Flip Murray has 6 points, 5 assists in 17 minutes. I'll take that. It's a good place for him to build from.
Danny Fortson collects fouls faster than a Swiffer Sweeper collects dust. 8 minutes played, 5 fouls, 0pts, 0 rebounds.
54 Seconds 4th: Down 7 with Ray at the line. Not a good place to be, considering the lead we had just 11 minutes ago. Crappy 4th quarter. Not the way to finish games.
35 seconds: The closing lineup is Allen, Ridnour, Evans, Murray and Lewis. 4 shooters and 1 rebounder. Evans just made some clutch free throws, but it might be too little too late. Clips 97 Sonics 93.
7 seconds: It's over. Not a good ending to the first game of the season. Down 101-93. Do we really need a time out?
Game over: if Sam Cassell shoots that way all season, that will probably go down as the best signing in the off season. Not going to happen though. Sam had 35 points, 11 assists (unofficial). Fortson and Vlade Radmanovic did not get anything going, though it is nice to see Vlade with 5 boards in 13 minutes. Not surprisingly, Petro didn't really see any crunch time minutes. James Singleton had a nice game for the Clippers - 14 pts on 7 of 8 shooting, 10 boards.
A disappointing loss, especially considering that Corey Maggette did not play for the Clippers, and Cutino Mobley was pretty cold from the floor (3 of 14, 0 of 5 from deep).
Final score: Clippers 101 Sonics 93.