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Sonics Look To Continue Strong Team Play, Host Hornets
Posted Dec 8 2006 1:46PM
NBA.com Daily Confidential
The Seattle SuperSonics came through once without Ray Allen. They might have to do it again when they host the New Orleans Hornets on Friday night.
The six-time All-Star and Seattle's leading scorer at 25.3 points per game, Allen missed the Sonics' 102-87 win over Atlanta on Tuesday with a bruised bone in his right ankle. His status for Friday is uncertain.
Allen had been experiencing some discomfort in Saturday's 109-107 loss to Utah, but played 41 minutes and scored 33 points.
``It's giving me a lot of uncomfortableness when I move to my right side,'' Allen said before Tuesday's game. ``I've always said if you're injured, you don't play. You sit down.''
Allen has missed time in the past due to injuries to the same ankle.
The Sonics (8-11), though, looked fine without their star in defeating the Hawks for their second win in three games.
Rashard Lewis scored 29 points on 10-of-16 shooting and Seattle got 10 points and eight rebounds from third-year guard Damien Wilkins, who started in place of Allen. Seattle shot a season-high 55.3 percent, and will be looking to score 100 points or more for the fourth straight game Friday.
``Obviously, we knew Ray was going to be out and that's 25 points going down the drain,'' said Lewis, who averages 22.9 points per game. ``We had to come up with it from somewhere else. I wasn't too worried because I knew guys were ready to prove they deserved to be in the rotation.''
The Hornets (9-8) snapped a season-high five-game losing streak Wednesday with a 105-89 road win over the Los Angeles Lakers.
New Orleans has two four-game winning streaks and a losing streak of three games this season.
Chris Paul scored 26 points and had 11 assists for his ninth double-double of the season, and the injury-ravaged Hornets got an offensive boost from two players as they snapped their skid.
Rasual Butler, averaging 7.6 points, had 22 against the Lakers and has scored 55 points in his last two games. He's started the last three contests in place of Peja Stojakovic, who's out with back spasms.
Reserve Jannero Pargo, who averages 7.5 points, had a season-high 21.
The Hornets could again be without Stojakovic as well as fellow starter David West (strained right forearm) and key reserve Bobby Jackson (cracked left rib) on Friday. West has missed 10 straight games, Stojakovic four straight and Jackson two.
``We know we're kind of the walking wounded,'' New Orleans coach Byron Scott told the team's Web site. ``But we still got some guys that we think are capable of going out there and competing.''
Wednesday marked the second straight game the Hornets have scored 100 points or more. They averaged 84.0 points during the five-game skid.
``Where our team has changed so much is we didn't let (the losing streak) bother us,'' Paul said. ``Last year, I think it would have gotten us down and we would have thought about it too much. But when you play 82 games in this league as fast as you lose them, you can win them just as quick.''
New Orleans won three of four against Seattle last season, splitting the two games at KeyArena. The Hornets have dropped four of their last five in Seattle.
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