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Sonics manhandle Hornets on the boards

SEATTLE (AP) -- Ray Allen of the Seattle SuperSonics is more
excited about teammate Rashard Lewis' first All-Star selection than
he is over his fifth.

Allen scored 26 points and Vladimir Radmanovic added 18 points
off the bench, leading the Sonics to a 108-91 victory over the
struggling New Orleans Hornets on Tuesday night.

Allen jumped on Lewis' back in congratulating him when he got
the news at Tuesday morning's shootaround.

"I was so excited for him," he said. "I can contain my own
enthusiasm for my own situation, but it's great to see him the
first time, which is the toughest time."

Playing in his second game since missing two contests with a bad
case of the flu, Allen played 36 minutes and shot 11-for-17,
including a 3-pointer. Radmanovic made four 3-pointers.

Allen still isn't 100 percent.

"I'm still sucking wind a little bit," said Allen, who was
coughing in the locker room after the game. "I was even worse
yesterday. But I like the feeling because I feel like I'm really
working and I've got to work extra hard."

Luke Ridnour had 16 points and seven assists, Lewis scored 10 on
4-for-13 shooting, and Reggie Evans pulled down 14 rebounds for the
Sonics, who outrebounded the Hornets 41-28.

Lewis reportedly got a $1 million bonus for making the All-Star
game for the first time. He did not talk to the media at the Key
Arena before or after the game.

Allen said he wasn't sure if Lewis would be chosen for the Feb.
20 game in Denver.

"I was nervous that he wasn't going to make it," he said. "We
knew he played well enough to make it, but there are a lot of
players in the league who are playing well, too."

Evans had a career-best 21 rebounds in his previous start, a
victory over Charlotte on Saturday night at home. The undrafted
third-year forward from Iowa feels like he's having an All-Star
season, too.

"To be honest with you, I feel like I'm an All-Star right
now," said Evans, the team's leading rebounder. "Ray made it,
Rashard made it and I feel like I made it, too."

Casey Jacobsen led the Hornets with a career-best 21 points off
the bench. Dan Dickau, former Gonzaga star, returned to his home
state and had 17 for New Orleans on 6-for-20 shooting.

"The shots were there, but I just didn't knock them down,"
Dickau said. "There were four or five I can think of that felt
good, they just didn't go in and lately I've been hitting those
shots. So that's the frustrating thing of it."

With their third straight victory and sixth in eight games, the
Sonics (33-13) expanded their lead in the Northwest Division to 10Ā½
games.

"It took us a little while to get going," Sonics coach Nate
McMillan said. "It seemed like we were just moving in quicksand."

The Hornets, who have the worst record in the NBA (8-40) and are
now 2-25 on the road, lost their sixth in a row. They also have ad
losing streaks of 11, 10 and eight games this season.

The Sonics shot 58.6 percent (41-of-70) and shot 8-of-20 on
3-point attempts.

New Orleans coach Byron Scott said Seattle had too much talent
for his team.

"They've got guys who are great perimeter shooters and then
they've got a bunch of guys who can put it on the floor as well,"
Scott said.

The Sonics led 26-22 after one quarter and 49-43 at halftime. In
the third quarter, the Sonics hit five 3-pointers -- two each by
Ridnour and Radmanovic -- to go ahead 79-64. Seattle led by 20
points twice in the final period.

The Sonics put their 19-year-old first-round draft choice,
7-footer Robert Smith, in with 2:48 left in the game. Smith had a
free throw with 23.9 seconds to go.

Game notes
McMillan said he called five NBA coaches he was
"comfortable" with to lobby for Lewis to become an All-Star. He
said two coaches told him they had voted for Lewis and he left
voice mails for the other three. "I didn't beg," McMillan said.
"I just told them Rashard has done this season." ... McMillan
returned to the bench after missing three games when he was in
Raleigh, N.C., where his mother died.