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SuperSonics Defeat Raptors, 97-88

December 27, 2002

SEATTLE (AP) _ Gary Payton scored 35 points _ including 10 in row to help Seattle take a comfortable lead _ and the SuperSonics snapped a four-game losing streak with a 97-88 victory Thursday night over the reeling Toronto Raptors.

Payton snapped out of his recent offensive drought, making 15 of 25 shots. He was only 15-for-57 over his past three games.

After Toronto went on a 14-2 run to cut Seattle’s lead to 63-62 with 1:55 remaining in the third quarter, Payton took over and scored the final eight points of the period and the first basket of the fourth. That pushed the Sonics’ advantage back to 11 points.

The Raptors, still playing without injured Vince Carter and Antonio Davis, were led by Vashon Lenard’s 27 points. Morris Peterson scored 16 of his 22 points in the first half. Alvin Williams added 12 for the Raptors, who have lost four in a row and eight of their last nine games.

Payton wasn’t the only Seattle player who shot well, and the Sonics made 48.7 percent. Rashard Lewis chipped in with 20 points, and Vladimir Radmanovic added 16. Predrag Drobnjak had 15 points and 10 rebounds.

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