Chicago 99, Seattle 84

CHICAGO, Dec. 13 (AP) -- Ben Wallace is starting to fit in with the Chicago Bulls.

The former Detroit star had a season-high 15 points and 20 rebounds to lead the Bulls to a 99-84 victory over the Seattle SuperSonics on Wednesday night.

Ben Gordon added 27 points and Andres Nocioni had 20 in Chicago's ninth victory in its last 10 games. Wallace also had five blocked shots, tying his season high.

``Anytime you leave a situation like I was in, coming to something new, I was in Detroit for six years and to take on a new challenge at this point in my career there is always going to be a little bit of an adjustment,'' said Wallace, who was benched earlier during a game for disobeying team rules and wearing a headband. ``For the most part I think the transition has gone pretty smooth.''

Bulls coach Scott Skiles wants Wallace to be part of the offense.

``We throw Ben the ball quite a bit in the course of games,'' Skiles said. ``Tonight, he saw some openings and took them and scored. It is silly to say he had a big game, he had 20 rebounds, but that was a big time performance.''

The Sonics played without Ray Allen and Earl Watson. Allen, who was not with the team, missed his fifth straight game because of a bone bruise in his right foot, while Watson suited up but didn't play because of a lower back contusion.

Chicago jumped out to a 28-12 lead, with Nocioni scoring seven points and Luol Deng adding eight. Wallace had five points, seven rebounds and three blocks in the quarter.

The Bulls beat the Sonics at home for the first time since 1997-98, when they won their sixth championship in Michael Jordan's final season with the team. Prior to Wednesday night, Chicago had dropped eight straight to the Sonics at the United Center.

Rashard Lewis scored 18 points for the Sonics, and Damien Wilkins added 16.

``Our bigs were foul trouble. Our bigs didn't really play that much tonight,'' Lewis said. ``With Ben Wallace out there, it's hard to keep him off the glass.''

Deng finished with 13 points, and Kirk Hinrich had 14 points and eight assists.

Notes: The Bulls played without P.J. Brown, sidelined by a right foot injury. He's listed as day-to-day. ... Chicago is 2-7 against Western Conference teams. ... Alfonso Soriano, who agreed to a $136 million, eight-year contract with the Chicago Cubs, attended the game and got a loud ovation from the fans when he was shown on the video board as did Cubs Hall of Famer Ernie Banks. But the biggest ovation of the night went to Devin Hester, the star returner for the Chicago Bears. ... Sonics F Johan Petro finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds.


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