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Originally published Wednesday, January 17, 2007 at 12:00 AM

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Sonics Notebook | A 54-point night might not make Allen an All-Star

Ray Allen isn't making travel plans to Las Vegas for the All-Star Game, although a few more performances like the one last Friday night...

Seattle Times staff reporter

Ray Allen isn't making travel plans to Las Vegas for the All-Star Game, although a few more performances like the one last Friday night when he poured in a career-high 54 points could sway the opinions of Western Conference coaches who select the reserves.

"I certainly think when they start talking about the All-Star team, that's a game that pops right in everybody's mind," Allen said. "There's a lot of issues now, obviously, with Allen [Iverson] coming to the West and Carmelo [Anthony] being suspended.

"So there's a little drama, but then there's always a little drama. We have this conversation every year on who should and who shouldn't get in. Last year, it was Gilbert Arenas. All you can do is give it your best chance. My downfall here is our record as a team."

Allen, a six-time All-Star, trails by a considerable margin in the fan balloting and would need to chosen by the coaches.

Before the game Tuesday, he was averaging a career-high 25.8 points, which is third in the West among guards.

Even with that, Steve Nash is virtually assured of spot while Allen, Iverson, Tony Parker, Baron Davis and injured Chris Paul will vie for the final spots. Kobe Bryant and Tracy McGrady are the leading vote-getters and the likely starters.

Three years ago, former Denver player Andre Miller joined Anthony in complaining that Allen shouldn't have made the All-Star team because he missed 26 games early in the season.

Player of the game: Chris Wilcox rebounded from a sluggish start and scored six of his 16 points in the fourth quarter. He also had 12 rebounds to tie for game-high honors.

Turning point: Tied 88-88, the Sonics outscored Cleveland 13-8 down the stretch.

Key statistic: LeBron James attempted just four field goals in the fourth quarter and missed all of them. He scored five of his game-high 30 points in the period.

Next: Milwaukee, 7:30 p.m., Friday, KeyArena.

"I won't ever be in that situation where I'm going to criticize someone else because they made it," Allen said. "The 12 guys that get selected, that's the 12 that get selected and I'm happy for them."

If he's not chosen for the All-Star Game, Allen said he probably would decline an invitation to compete in the three-point shooting contest.

Not an endorsement

While New York, in beating the Sonics on Jan. 5, might have provided a blueprint on how to stop Allen, Sonics coach Bob Hill said he doesn't believe opponents will copy the Knicks' double-teaming scheme that held the Sonics star to just 11 points on 3-for-10 shooting.

"Most coaches would look at that as a weakness of their defense," Hill said. "I'm just throwing that out there. I think their egos would get in the way of that. Kind of like if they are going to play him, then they're going to play him straight up with our guy and our defense.

"Whereas New York just said the other four guys are going to beat us."

Roof doesn't always help

Mother Nature hasn't been kind to the Sonics this season. The game Tuesday was the fourth that was hampered by bad weather and hazardous driving conditions, impacting the attendance at KeyArena.

Earlier this season, a windstorm kept fans away on Nov. 15 for a game against Philadelphia, an ice storm blanketed the Puget Sound region Nov. 29 when Orlando was in town and during the Miami game last Wednesday, hail pelted the city.

The Sonics have offered fans a chance to exchange unused tickets for the games affected by weather conditions for future games.

Notes

Danny Fortson's sore left knee felt better Tuesday, but Hill kept him out of the rotation because of the improved play of rookie Andre Brown, who signed a second 10-day contract Monday.

While Hill has used Fortson when available in the past, he prefers Brown's consistency and didn't want to disrupt the rotation. If Seattle signs Brown for the duration of the season, Fortson might have played his final game for the Sonics.

• Hill said rookie center Mouhamed Sene is playing well since he was assigned to the Sonics' developmental league team in Boise, Idaho. In three games with the Stampede, Sene is averaging 9.7 rebounds and 7.7 points.

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