Sonics Notes: Allen gets 3-day suspension
Sonics guard Ray Allen on Friday served the first game of his three-game suspension without pay for fighting. He was penalized after an...
Seattle Times staff reporter
Sonics guard Ray Allen on Friday served the first game of his three-game suspension without pay for fighting. He was penalized after an altercation with Orlando Magic guard Keyon Dooling on Wednesday that resulted in both players being ejected in the second quarter of a 113-104 Sonics victory.
Dooling, who instigated the incident, will serve a five-game suspension without pay. His penalty is stiffer because in addition to fighting, he attempted to confront Allen outside the Sonics' locker room after being ejected. The decision was announced Friday by Stu Jackson, NBA senior vice president of basketball operations.
Sonics coach Bob Hill wasn't surprised by the suspension. He said the NBA is "paranoid" about altercations that could spill into the stands after the brawl between Indiana and Detroit at The Palace of Auburn Hills last season.
Allen and Dooling's fight occurred with 10:57 left in the second quarter when Allen retaliated after Dooling knocked him to the court and stood over him. Allen slammed Dooling into the courtside seats, splattering a fan's beer as the Sonics guard took two closed-fist swings at Dooling. The Magic guard threw two punches before the players were pulled apart. After being ejected and tagged with a flagrant foul, Dooling bolted down the KeyArena tunnel to meet up with Allen in the hallway. Allen took longer to leave the court, so a confrontation was averted by police officers and Sonics personnel.
"I thought that he [Allen] was somewhat of a victim," Hill said. "Maybe if it didn't go into the stands it would have been different, but it did, so we have to live with it. What are you going to do? Sue?"
Allen, the team's leading scorer at 24.1 points per game, will skip the Sonics' next trip, which takes them to Los Angeles tonight to face the Clippers and concludes at Golden State Monday. The ejection cost Allen $1,000 and the suspension will cost him $120,210.36 per game. Dooling's suspension is costing him $28,181.82 per game.
Ultimately Allen will be out nine days because the Sonics have a three-day break between games once they return from the road. Hill isn't worried about rust since the co-captain will train twice a day while the Sonics are away.
Reserve of the game: Heat forward Antoine Walker added 15 points and six rebounds.
Digits: The Sonics were outscored 39-18 in the second quarter.
Next: at Los Angeles Clippers, 7:30 tonight, Staples Center.
Hill said his new contract was finalized, although no details were available. He called his wife and said, "It's nice to have it out of the way."
Hill also said he will use the three-day break when the team returns from the road to assess his assistant-coach possibilities.
Allen called guard Damien Wilkins to give him a few pointers before Friday's game, but the reserve said he didn't change much in his routine after learning he would start against Miami.
Guard Ronald Murray scored 20-plus points in 10 of his first 12 starts in place of Allen (ankle surgery) in 2003. But Hill said he likes to go to Murray off the bench because Hill also likes the defense Wilkins brings to the lineup.
Wilkins scored 12 points in a little more than 23 minutes Friday against the Heat.
Payton, Shaq, stars
Former Sonic Gary Payton received a long and rousing standing ovation from the sellout crowd once he entered the game for the Heat in the first quarter. He finished the opening half with six points, but refused to reenter in the fourth when asked by coach Pat Riley.
Payton and Heat center Shaquille O'Neal's presence brought out the stars, like former Sonics legend Fred Brown and Seattle star Sam Perkins.
Storm coach Anne Donovan was also in the mix and introduced to the crowd as the new 2008 Olympic coach. Donovan will serve as coach should Team USA qualify by winning the World Championship in Brazil in September.
• Sonics forward Reggie Evans didn't return as planned after attending a funeral in Chicago Wednesday. Evans has not been in contact with the coaching staff or general manager Rick Sund, but players said he was in-flight to Seattle on Friday evening.
Hill remained understanding of the situation because of the circumstances, but added that the Sonics "wish he'd have called. It would have been easier."
On top of that, the team was scheduled to get on a plane to Los Angeles after Friday's game.