Seattle takes command in the third period

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Vladimir Radmanovic has been sick for about a
week. Maybe that explains why the Los Angeles Lakers gave him so
much room on the perimeter -- they didn't want to catch whatever he

They should be so lucky.

Radmanovic scored all but two of his 26 points on eight
3-pointers, and the Seattle SuperSonics took command in the third
quarter to beat the Lakers 104-93 Tuesday night.

Radmanovic shot 9-of-17, including 8-of-14 from long range, in
coming within one point of his season high and three points of his
career best. He made nine of his first 11 shots before missing his
last six.

Dale Ellis holds Seattle's franchise record with nine 3-pointers
in a game, and Kobe Bryant holds the NBA record with 12 -- against
the Sonics two years ago.

"Probably the virus that I have is a good basketball virus,"
Radmanovic said. "With the medicine I'm taking, hopefully it's
going to go away. I've been sick for a while -- I'm just trying to
play through it."

Radmanovic was sick to the point that he sat out practice

"At the beginning of the game, I didn't have enough energy,"
he said. "I was slow motion. Later on, I got warmed up. The rim
looked a little bit bigger tonight to me. Those guys weren't paying

When asked why he was so open, Radmanovic replied: "You should
ask the Lakers."

Los Angeles' Caron Butler said players such as Radmanovic and
teammate Rashard Lewis, who are both 6-foot-10, and Dallas' Dirk
Nowitzki, who is a 7-footer, have changed the way the game is

"(They) are just transforming their position to another level
and getting more versatile," Butler said. "At times, we'd get
back in transition off our turnovers and start protecting the
paint. But there's no one particular guy you can just find on the
break. On this ballclub, you've got so many guys who can shoot
long-distance, it's tough to cover in any situation."

Regarding Radmanovic, Butler said: "One time, I think he was in
the parking lot and I had my hand right in front of him, but he
just pulled up and shot the ball. He had a great night."

Ray Allen added 25 points and Lewis scored 21 for the Northwest
Division-leading Sonics, whose 29-11 record is the third-best in
the NBA.

Danny Fortson had 10 points and nine rebounds, Luke Ridnour
added 10 points and seven assists, and Reggie Evans grabbed 13
rebounds to help the Sonics outrebound the Lakers 48-36.

"We have a lot of different weapons," Allen said. "We have a
very deep roster and that makes us very dangerous."

The Lakers (22-17) missed another opportunity for a season-high
three-game winning streak. They've won consecutive games nine
times, but failed in each of those situations to win a third

"We're just trying to win games," Butler said. "I don't think
we're putting all the thought on it that everybody else is --
talking about getting that third win and getting the monkey off our
backs. We're going to get on a streak. It's going to happen."

Lamar Odom led the Lakers with 19 points, 13 rebounds and eight
assists. Seldom-used Luke Walton also scored 19 points, a career
high, in just 19 minutes. He had 12 of his points while playing the
entire fourth quarter.

Jumaine Jones and Chucky Atkins scored 13 each and Butler added
10 for the Lakers.

The Sonics shot 13-of-33 from 3-point range and the Lakers were
8-of-26. Seattle was perfect from the foul line, making all 15

The Lakers have a 3-2 record since Bryant, the NBA's
second-leading scorer, sustained a severely sprained right ankle in
the first quarter of a 98-94 victory over Cleveland on Jan. 13.

Bryant is eligible to come off the injured list before Wednesday
night's game against the Clippers, but isn't expected to play
before Feb. 6, when the Lakers begin a five-game road trip at

After Walton scored the first four points of the fourth quarter
to trim Seattle's lead to 11 points, Radmanovic made two 3-pointers
and Fortson scored on a follow shot to give the Sonics a 91-72 lead
with 9:42 remaining. The Lakers never got closer than nine points
after that.

Game notes
The Lakers are the only NBA team with a winning record that
hasn't had a three-game winning streak this season. Other teams who
haven't won three straight are Portland (16-24), Charlotte (8-30),
Atlanta (8-31), and New Orleans (7-33). ... The Sonics snapped a
five-game losing streak to the Lakers in Los Angeles. ... The
Lakers haven't lost more than two in a row this season, having done
that four times. ... The Sonics haven't lost more than two
straight, either, having done that twice.