After Dust Settles, Lewis’ 45 Lift Sonics
Seattle 113, Orlando 104
SEATTLE, Jan. 11 (Ticker) -- The loss of leading scorer Ray Allen meant Rashard Lewis had to carry a greater load for the Seattle SuperSonics.
Lewis scored a season-high 45 points and Luke Ridnour added a season-high 23 as the SuperSonics overcame Allen's ejection for fighting and snapped a three-game losing streak with a 113-104 triumph over the Orlando Magic.
The incident developed when Stacey Augmon gave Allen a seemingly inadvertent forearm to the chin after Allen grabbed a defensive rebound. Moments later, Allen gave Dooling an elbow to the chest near the baseline before Dooling chased and tackled him, leading to the scuffle in the front row of seats.
"If you ask around the league, people will say we are good guys," Dooling said. "It was just a mistake on both our parts. I wish I could take it back."
"I didn't see how it started," Lewis said. "But I saw a couple of times where he (Allen) got hit in the mouth after getting a rebound and I think he was just frustrated. He's not the kind of guy who would do something like that, so obviously he must have been getting some cheap shots."
Playing his first game after missing 21 contests with an inflamed right foot, Dooling threw a punch and also was ejected. He had to be restrained by authorities after sprinting down the hallway toward the locker room to go after Allen a second time.
"There was no trash-talking going on," Dooling said. "I don't know if he was frustrated with a couple of missed calls or something like that. That's not what I was out there doing. I was just playing basketball."
Averaging nearly 25 points to rank among the league leaders, Allen scored just one with four assists in eight minutes. He did not meet with reporters after the game.
After scoring 18 points in the first half, Lewis added 13 in the third quarter. He had 11 of Seattle's final 14 points of the period to give the SuperSonics an 84-66 lead.
"When you see one of your teammates go out like that, especially an All-Star player, we are behind him all the way," Lewis said. "When he was ejected, I knew I would have to be a lot more aggressive. I was going to have to give myself shots and get my teammates open shots. I knew I was going to have to score a lot."
Lewis made 12-of-18 shots, including four from the arc, and established career highs by going 17-of-20 from the line.
"We didn't really want to double-team a lot because of their perimeter shooting, and Rashard was a tough matchup for us tonight," Magic coach Brian Hill said. "We made a bundle of mistakes early and it was still a nine-point game at halftime. I just hoped we had gotten it out of our system."
Back home after four losses on a five-game road trip, Seattle gave coach Bob Hill his first home victory since taking over from Bob Weiss on Jan. 3.
"It feels really good," Bob Hill said. "I'm really proud of (the team) and they responded from day one. ... It's really important that we get better every night and we did tonight."
Jameer Nelson came off the bench to score a career-high 32 points and Hedo Turkoglu added 16 for the Magic, who have lost six consecutive road games.