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Thursday, March 04, 2004 - Page updated at 12:00 A.M.

Notebook: McMillan tries to make point to young Ridnour

By Percy Allen
Seattle Times staff reporter

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SAN ANTONIO — A few weeks ago, Sonics coach Nate McMillan talked to rookie point guard Luke Ridnour about creating scoring opportunities for teammates.

"As a point guard, you have to learn early on that if you make them look good, then they make you look good," McMillan said a few days ago, before realizing that he would have to start Ridnour in last night's game because of an injury to Antonio Daniels.

"He and I, we're different types of point guards. But I can still teach Luke some things about this game," said McMillan, who played the point for Seattle for 12 seasons. "I know exactly what he's going through. I was there. I had teammates who needed the ball, and so you just have to find out how they want it and get it to them."

Ridnour made his third start of the season last night, and his performance drew mixed reviews.

On one hand, McMillan must have appreciated the fact that his rookie guard didn't play a prominent role in the team's 20 turnovers.

But Ridnour, who collected three steals, wasn't his usual probing and penetrating self on the offensive end. He managed just two assists and six points.

More important, he was the point guard on the floor when the Sonics totaled two points on their first seven possessions.

"I'm just trying to do what I can do to help the team win," Ridnour said. "That's all I can do."

Sour homecoming

Daniels still owns a house in the San Antonio area and calls the city home after four seasons with the Spurs, during which he won an NBA championship ring.
Knowing that plenty of friends and the family of his fiancée, Sonia, were attending the game last night made sitting on the bench especially difficult for Daniels.

But he said his bruised left ribs are still causing him problems and his status for tomorrow's game in Los Angeles against the Lakers is uncertain.

It was only the second game this season that Daniels missed because of injury. In December, he was sidelined by an abdominal strain.

Ray of hope

Ray Allen has initiated a month-long community program called "Off Glass" that is part of The Ray of Hope Foundation. "Off Glass" placards can be purchased in $5 and $10 increments and will be displayed in the windows of the Sonics & Storm Team Shop throughout March.

Allen will appear at the Sonics & Storm Team Shop on Saturday from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Fans buying placards can receive autographs and tickets to the Sonics' game against the Detroit Pistons at KeyArena on Sunday.


Lakers forward Karl Malone will return tomorrow against Seattle, teammate Gary Payton told reporters in Los Angeles. Malone, who has been practicing for the past week, has been silent on his return from a torn ligament in his right knee. He has been out since Dec. 21.

Game at a glance

Player of the game: Ronald Murray led all scorers with 24 points, on 9-for-14 shooting. He also doled out seven assists, collected four rebounds and nabbed two steals.

Play of the game: Early in the second quarter, Ray Allen eluded Bruce Bowen with a swift left-to-right crossover dribble that left the San Antonio guard flat-footed. Allen finished the sequence with a reverse dunk that cut Seattle's deficit to 24-21.

Key matchup: All eyes were on Allen and Bowen, who share a heated rivalry. Both engaged in a few shoving matches, but for the most part, their exchanges were tame.

Next: At Los Angeles Lakers, 7:30 p.m. tomorrow.

Copyright © 2004 The Seattle Times Company

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