Saturday , Dec , 23 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Raptors, Sonics battle at KeyArena

(Sports Network) – The slumping Seattle SuperSonics play the middle contest
of a three-game homestand when they welcome the Toronto Raptors tonight to
KeyArena.

Seattle enters tonight’s contest on a six-game losing streak. On Wednesday,
Erick Dampier scored 22 points and pulled down 16 rebounds as the Dallas
Mavericks beat the SuperSonics, 103-95.

Luke Ridnour had 21 points and nine assists before fouling out in the loss to
Dallas for Seattle, which has dropped 10 of its last 14 games overall. Chris
Wilcox collected 18 points and nine boards, while Ealr Watson netted 18 in
defeat.

All-Star Ray Allen may return to the court for the SuperSonics. The sharp-
shooting Allen has missed nine straight games with a bone bruise in right
ankle. Seattle is 3-6 without Allen, who is averaging a team-high 25.3 points
per game.

Forward Rashard Lewis (sprained tendon in right hand) is expected to miss up
to eight weeks. Lewis was injured against Dallas. He is averaging 21.9
points and 6.8 rebounds per game.

The SuperSonics are 6-7 at home this season. They will host Chris Paul and the
New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets on Tuesday in the finale of the current
homestand.

Toronto wraps up a four-game road trip this evening. It is 2-1 on the current
swing. On Friday, Andrea Bargnani knocked down a jumper with 3.5 seconds left
in overtime to lift the Raptors past the Portland Trail Blazers, 101-100, at
the Rose Garden.

T.J. Ford scored 23 points, including nine in overtime, to go along with 10
assists for the Raptors, who have won two in a row and five of their last six
games overall. Anthony Parker scored 13 points and grabbed eight rebounds for
Toronto, while Rasho Nesterovic and Fred Jones both had 12 points and five
boards.

Bargnani, the No.1 overall pick in the 2006 draft, finished with 11 points
against Portland.

The Raptors are just 5-12 on the road this season. Toronto returns home to
host the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday and the Chicago Bulls on Friday
at Air Canada Centre.

This is the first of two meetings between the clubs this season. Toronto is
scheduled to host the SuperSonics on March 11, 2007 in the final contest of
the season between the squads.

Toronto has lost seven of 10 at Seattle. The Sonics have captured four of the
last five contests in this series.

SEA TOR