MILWAUKEE -- The five-overtime NBA marathon Thursday night was like a rollercoaster ride -- there were many ups-and-downs and it left the Milwaukee Bucks thrilled and the Seattle Supersonics feeling queasy.
The Bucks posted a 155-154 victory in the longest NBA game in over 38 years. The 4-hour, 17-minute contest featured 228 field goal attempts, 70 fouls, 109 free throw attempts and 47 turnovers.
'It was painful at times, but I didn't have to play,' Bucks' Coach Del Harris said. 'Two overtimes is the longest game I've ever been a part of. I wouldn't choose being in another one. But if you tell me we'll win, I'll wait.'
The five overtimes was one short of the NBA record set when Indianapolis posted a 75-73 victory over Rochester in six overtimes on Jan. 6, 1951. Anderson and Syracuse played a five overtime game in 1949.
Players went from being a goat to hero, and back to goat again. Tony Brown, Ben Coleman and Alvin Robertson all made key plays for the Bucks while Dale Ellis, Xavier McDaniel and Derrick McKey did the same for the Supersonics.
'The game had so many ups-and-downs, the emotion level rose and fell,' Seattle Coach Bernie Bickerstaff said. 'I have no complaints. Milwaukee made some great plays when they had to make them and we made some great plays when we had to make them.'
However, Robertson and the Bucks' Jay Humphries, and McDaniel and Seattle's Olden Polynice all bungled plays that cost their teams and kept the game going.
'Anytime you invest that kind of time in a game it feels good to win,' Robertson said.
Robertson dribbled the ball off his foot out of bounds in the first overtime with Milwaukee up 110-108 and 25 seconds left. The turnover enabled Brad Sellers to can a 16-foot jumper with 5 seconds left and keep the game alive.
But Robertson made countless key defensive plays in the final four overtimes, and sank two free throws with 56 seconds left in the final OT to give the Bucks a 151-146 lead.
'When I made the turnover, I didn't want to lose the game on that play, so I just got back,' Robertson said.
Humphries then canned two free throws to give Milwaukee a 153-146 advantage with 45 seconds left. But the game possibly would have ended in two overtimes had Humphries not missed two free throws with 3 seconds left and the game tied, 120-120.
'It could have been over two hours ago,' Humphries said, referring to the missed free throws. 'It's a big blur because there were a lot of big plays.'
Brown's 3-pointer gave the Bucks the lead for good at 149-146 with 1:11 left in the fifth overtime. McDaniel missed a jumper, Brown grabbed the rebound and threw to Robertson, who was fouled on a breakaway by Polynice.
Robertson sank both free throws and Milwaukee retained possession because of the breakaway foul. Humphries was fouled and sank both free throws.
Milwaukee's Jeff Grayer then scored on a layin but DanaBarros hit a jumper, Nate McMillan sank a free throw and Sedale Threatt canned a jumper to bring Seattle within 155-152 with five seconds left.
Threatt then stole the inbounds and, after a timeout, McDaniel was fouled on a 3-point attempt as time expired. He sank both free throws for the final score.
Ellis scored a career-high 53 points, 20 in the overtimes. He scored on a layup with 2 seconds left in the third overtime and hit an 18-foot jumper with 11 seconds remaining in the fourth OT, both times keeping the Supersonics hopes alive.
'It was very intense,' Ellis said. 'In the end you're exhausted. You play as hard as you can for so long so you're disappointed.'
Milwaukee's Ricky Pierce canned a career-high 36 points but fouled out in the second overtime. The victory was the third straight for Milwaukee, 3-1, while Seattle, 2-2, has not won in Milwaukee since the 1982-'83 season.