The Phoenix Suns have used superior team speed and quickness and a few new wrinkles to catch the Seattle SuperSonics off guard and reduce them to a frustrated team that appears totally lost.
"Now reality has set in that we can lose this series," Seattle forward Paul Silas said today. "At least I hope it's set in."
After winning the first two games of the NBA's Western Conference final series in Seattle, the confident Sonics - so confident they took their wives with them - went to Phoenix and lost two straight.
The fifth game of the series will in Seattle's Kingdome Friday night (WDVM-TV-9 at 11:30 p.m.).
Even without regular center Alvan Adams, the swift Suns totally controlled the bigger and stronger Sonics Tuesday and came away with a convincing 100-91 victory to even the series.
The Sonics went scoreless for the first six minutes of the fourth quarter and Phoenix increased an 81-77 lead to 93-77 and coasted in for the victory.
While the Suns have played better in each succeeding game, the Sonics have played worse.
"We've adjusted to them," said the Suns' Leonard (Truck) Robinson, "But they haven't adjusted to us."
Phoenix even outrebounded Seattle Tuesday for the first time in the series and also forced 25 turnovers. Seattle had 31 turnovers in its 113-103 loss Sunday.
The Sonics seem to have no cohesion, and the Suns are taking full advantage of it.
"We just aren't playing good basketball right how," said Seattle Coach Lenny Wilkens. "We just aren't doing things instinctively at all, and we seem to be out of sync for some reason."
The Phoenix attack was so in gear Tuesday that the Suns had 30 assists to only 14 for the Sonics.
"Everybody talks about Seattle being a very good rebounding team, and they are, but we're the first team in the NBA that has had four players with 300 assists during the year," said Phoenix Coach John MacLeod.
"If we move the ball from side to side, we can find the open man and get through the defense."
Paul Westphal had 10 assists and 21 points and Walter Davis had eight assists and 27 points Tuesday.