Sonics 105, Lakers 99
SEATTLE (AP) _ Rookie Xavier McDaniel scored a career-high 36 points and guard Al Wood added 16 points in a pivotal six-minute stretch in the second half Saturday night to help the Seattle SuperSonics snap a four-game Los Angeles Lakers’ winning streak with a 105-99 NBA victory.
The Lakers led 69-63 when Wood ran off 10 straight points to put Seattle on top for good. Wood finished as Seattle’s second best scorer with 25 points.
The Lakers, who entered the game with a 13-3 road record and a 29-5 mark, both NBA bests, were led by Worthy’s 26 points and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s 22.
In the six-minute span that extended into the fourth quarter, Wood tallied 16 of Seattle’s 18 points as the Sonics grabbed an 81-75 lead.
McDaniel, who also had 14 rebounds, scored 20 of his points in the second half, including a string of eight consecutive points in the closing minutes of the final quarter. McDaniel’s previous high was 29 points.
Wood, normally Seattle’s starting big guard, was benched in a strategy decision in favor of rookie Michael Phelps by Coach Bernie Bickerstaff, who decided to have Wood come off the bench and swing between small forward and big guard against the Lakers.
At the start of Wood’s scoring spree, the Lakers had 6-foot-9 James Worthy on the 6-foot-6 Wood. Los Angeles then switched to defensive ace Michael Cooper in an effort to stop Wood.
The Sonics’ defense smothered the Lakers in the second half, holding them to just 46 points.
It was only the third time this season that the Lakers had been held under 100 points.
The game was played in front of 14,230 fans in the Seattle Coliseum, the first Sonics’ regular-season sellout since 1978. The Sonics played their last seven seasons in the Kingdome, which they never sold out.