Lewis scored a season-high 45 points and the Sonics overcame
Allen's ejection for a 113-104 win over the Orlando Magic on
Lewis was outstanding, finishing 12-of-18 from the field and
17-of-20 from the free-throw line. It was his best game since
scoring 41 in an overtime win against Toronto in November, and
Seattle improved to 13-5 when Lewis scores 20 or more points.
"That's about as efficient as you can be in the NBA," said
Seattle coach Bob Hill, who picked up his second win since taking
over for Bob Weiss on Jan. 3. "Rashard did what players of his
In Seattle's 15 wins, Lewis is averaging 27 points, and he was
just five points off his career high of 50 set in 2003.
"It came across my mind," Lewis said. "But the main focus was
getting the win. We need as many wins as we can get right now."
Luke Ridnour picked up the slack in Allen's absence, making 9 of
16 shots and finished with a career-high 23 points, topping the
20-point mark for just the second time in his career.
The Sonics played much of the game without Allen, who was
ejected for fighting with Orlando's Keyon Dooling with 10:53 left
in the second quarter.
After Jameer Nelson missed for the Magic, Allen pulled down the
rebound and replays showed that he caught a glancing blow in the
chin from Dooling.
At the other end, the two collided as Seattle ran a set play and
Allen appeared to give Dooling a short elbow to the chest before
running along the baseline. Dooling went running at Allen and
pushed him to the ground. Allen got up and tackled Dooling into the
first row of seats along the sideline and onto some fans.
"You get in the heat of the battle and sometimes situations
aren't handled the way they should be," Dooling said. "I think
that was an example of that tonight."
The two briefly scuffled and television replays showed Dooling
throwing a punch at Allen that did not connect. The two were
eventually separated with Orlando's Stacey Augmon pulling Allen
away from Dooling.
Underneath the stands, Dooling briefly ran toward the Sonics
locker room and was seen yelling at Allen, but team officials and
police kept the two apart.
Allen was not available after the game and most of his teammates
"Sometimes you don't think, you just react," Dooling said. "I
wish I could take it back. I feel bad for the fans that
participated in it and for the kids that had to see it."
Nelson led the Magic with a career-high 32 points off the bench.
Hedo Turkoglu added 16, but was no match for Lewis defensively, and
fouled out with 3:22 left.
"We didn't want to double team a lot because of their perimeter
shooting and Rashard was a tough matchup for us tonight," Orlando
coach Brian Hill said.
DeShawn Stevenson added 15 for Orlando, which dropped its sixth
straight road game.
Leading 56-47 at halftime, the Sonics closed the third quarter
on a 14-7 run to take an 18-point lead. Lewis scored 11 during the
spurt and had 33 points after three quarters.
"I knew I was going to have to be a lot more aggressive," said
Lewis. "If not getting myself shots, but getting my teammates open
shots. I knew I had to step up big."
Orlando trimmed the deficit to 94-85 on Nelson's three-point
play and a free throw from Dwight Howard with 6:45 left.
After exchanging misses, Nelson blocked Ridnour's shot, but Nick
Collison grabbed the ball out of midair and made a 14-footer as the
shot clock expired to put Seattle up 96-85 with 5:24 to play.
Ronald Murray then came up with a steal for Seattle, and Ridnour
made a 3-pointer as the shot clock expired with 4:48 left to put
Seattle up 14.
Vladimir Radmanovic added 17 for Seattle. Howard had 13 points
and 18 rebounds for Orlando.
Dooling was scoreless in three minutes of play, while Allen had
just one point in eight minutes.
Orlando forward Grant Hill sat out his third straight game
with a strained groin. Hill had a precautionary MRI taken on
Wednesday and is expected to try and practice on Thursday. ...
Seattle was without F Reggie Evans, who was excused from the team
to attend a funeral. He was expected to rejoin the team on
Thursday. ... Orlando has lost seven of its last eight in Seattle.