Dale Ellis is welcoming the new year with three-point flair.
In his first two games of 1989, the Seattle scoring ace has put up 91 points,including a career-high 49 Thursday night in leading the SuperSonics to a 120-106 triumph over the Sacramento Kings."How do you stop Dale Ellis?" asked Sacramento Coach Jerry Reynolds. "You are asking the wrong guy. We don't know and obviously the Lakers don't know, either. He shoots threes like most people shoot foul shots. The threes break your spirit."
Ellis, whose previous career-high was 47 points, pumped in 42 points Tuesday night in a victory over the Los Angeles Lakers. Ellis hit 20 of 32 shots from the floor against the Kings, including 5 of 8 from three-point range. He has made 36 of his last 56 shots, including 9 of 13 three-pointers.
"I had wide open shots and when you shoot uncontested you have to make those," said Ellis, who was averaging 28.6 points before Thursday's game. "The three-pointer takes the wind out of a lot of teams. When I'm hot like this I feel like I can make all of my shots and it doesn't matter where I'm shooting from."
Teammate Michael Cage said when Ellis "gets going nobody can stop him. He's our strength right now."
The Sonics broke away from an 86-86 tie entering the fourth quarter when Ellis swished a pair of jumpers inside the first minute.
With Ellis getting 14 points and Derrick McKey 8 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter, the Sonics outscored the Kings 29-14 during the first 10 1/2 minutes of the fourth quarter to build a 117-100 advantage. In that surge, the SuperSonics hit 14 of 17 shots from the floor.
Jim Petersen led the Kings with 23 points and 11 rebounds, helping keep the Kings close over the first three quarters.