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Sonics put six in double figures, rout Jazz

SEATTLE (AP) -- Earl Watson threw behind-the-back passes to
Rashard Lewis for open 3-pointers, and ally-oops to Chris Wilcox
that brought the crowd to its feet.

With its new lineup, the Seattle SuperSonics are having fun for
the first time this season.

Lewis led six Seattle players in double figures with 22 points
in just three quarters, and the SuperSonics rolled past the Utah
Jazz 113-81 Sunday night.

Ray Allen added 20 points and eight assists, as Seattle
continued a string of solid play on its current homestand. The
Sonics beat New Orleans last Tuesday, and lost to Detroit 98-96 on
Friday on a basket by Richard Hamilton with less than 1 second
remaining.

"Since the trading deadline this team has come together just
like that," Seattle coach Bob Hill said, snapping his fingers.
"We've had five really good performances in terms of togetherness
and effort and caring about one another.

The Sonics shot 57 percent, with Luke Ridnour adding 12 points
and nine assists. Watson had his best game since being acquired in
a trade-deadline deal with Denver, scoring 10 points with seven
assists and five rebounds.

Watson was especially good in the open floor, as the Sonics
scored 38 fast break points. He found both Lewis and Allen open on
the wings for transition 3-pointers, along with Wilcox and Robert
Swift on the inside for dunks.

Seattle had 28 assists on 47 baskets.

"The passion for winning in this locker room is so strong,"
Watson said. "The transition game is fun with this team, because
everyone runs. Every play in transition, I've got like two or three
options. ... You have so many options, you get to pick how you want
to get the crowd going."

Utah was lethargic and continued its frustrating stretch of
alternating wins and losses its last six games, and looked nothing
like a team chasing Denver atop the mediocre Northwest Division.
Carlos Boozer led the Jazz with 14 points, but Utah led only once --
at 2-0.

Mehmet Okur was held to seven points, 10 under his season
average, and Andrei Kirilenko struggled with fouls and scored just
eight points. Both played 18 minutes.

Afterward, coach Jerry Sloan seemed to indicate there may be
some internal strife with the Jazz.

"They showed a little bit of an attitude about what's going on
out there. When you play that way, it kind of gets back at you
sometimes," Sloan said. "It's kind of upsetting that those things
crop up when we still have a chance to get to the playoffs."

Already leading by 14 at halftime, Seattle pushed the lead to 21
midway through the third quarter with a quick 8-2 burst.

Robert Swift dunked in transition, followed by two baskets from
Allen -- a driving layup and 22-foot jumper. Ridnour added a nifty
drive through the lane for a 75-54 lead, forcing Sloan to call
timeout.

It didn't help. Seattle continued to shred Utah's defense and
had 91 points after three quarters. The Sonics scored the first
eight points of the fourth quarter for a 99-68 lead, leaving Sloan
sitting stunned on the Jazz bench. Seattle's lead got as high as
33.

"They ran us off the floor," Sloan said.

It wasn't just at the offensive end for Seattle. The Sonics
played solid defense, holding their opponent under 100 points in
consecutive games for just the second time this season.

Damien Wilkins jumped into the stands and dove on the floor for
loose balls. Watson's quick hands frustrated Utah guards Deron
Williams and Milt Palacio. Seattle forced 23 turnovers and scored
33 points off those turnovers.

"Defensively, we're being held accountable," Allen said.
"Everyone knows where they should be and if they're not we know
who's at fault. Everyone is making sure that they're doing their
job."

Wilkins added 14 points and Wilcox scored 10 for Seattle.

Game notes
Seattle F Nick Collison injured his left foot in the first
half and did not return. He played 12 minutes and scored five
points. Collison is scheduled for an MRI on Monday and left the
arena wearing a protective boot on the foot. ... Boozer had eight
rebounds leaving him one short of 2,000 for his career. ... Shaun
Alexander's re-signing with the Seattle Seahawks was flashed on the
scoreboard late in the fourth quarter, drawing a load ovation from
the crowd.