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Originally published Thursday, February 24, 2005 at 12:00 AM

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Sonics

Notebook: Fortson rejoins squad; Allen trade unlikely

Danny Fortson rejoined the Sonics yesterday, anxious to make up for lost time. "I miss these guys and it just feels good to be back around...

Seattle Times staff reporter

NEW ORLEANS — Danny Fortson rejoined the Sonics yesterday, anxious to make up for lost time.

"I miss these guys and it just feels good to be back around them again," said the Sonics forward, who spent the past week away from the team for personal reasons. "I was happy to see Nick Collison this morning in the (hotel) lobby. I never thought I'd be so happy to see Nick."

Earlier this week, coach Nate McMillan said general manager Rick Sund told him Fortson was attending to an ill grandmother in Pennsylvania.

"I want to keep things private," Fortson said last night. "It's nothing against you guys, but I don't want to get into it right now."

McMillan said he wanted Fortson to practice with the team today in Seattle before putting him back on the floor.

Including last night, Fortson has missed the past five games, two because of an NBA suspension that preceded his three-day leave. He hasn't played since Feb. 10 and hasn't scored in double figures since Feb. 1, when he notched 13 points against Sacramento at Arco Arena.

Player of the game: Rashard Lewis got the Sonics going early as he scored 20 points before halftime and finished with a game-high 26, including six three-pointers.

Turning point: Seattle built a 21-point lead (50-29) in the second quarter, and New Orleans never got any closer than 16 points the rest of the game.

Key matchup: Ray Allen eluded rookie J.R. Smith, driving past him and running him into screens to shake free for 25 points.

Trade unlikely

Trade rumors continued to swirl around the Sonics last night, but according to team sources, they are unlikely to make any moves before today's deadline.

An ESPN.com report claimed Seattle was seeking to trade guard Ray Allen to Boston for Paul Pierce; however, a team source said the story had no merit.

"I don't worry about that," Allen said. "You don't, you stay here and you help. It's a win-win situation."

Radmanovic to be re-examined

Vladimir Radmanovic said he will have his right wrist re-examined as early as today. He bruised ligaments last week, and an initial MRI exam revealed fluids building up in the joint.

Notes

• The Sonics' charter flight to New Orleans after Tuesday night's game in Houston was redirected to Baton Rouge because of low visibility, team officials said. After landing, the Sonics boarded a bus and took an hour-long ride before arriving at their hotel at 4 a.m.

McMillan gave players the option of working out yesterday morning or sleeping in, and almost everyone stayed inside their hotel room before departing to New Orleans Arena for last night's game.

• C Jerome James limped to the locker room midway through the first quarter after bruising his right knee during a collision beneath the basket. He returned at the start of the second half.

• The Sonics raised ticket prices by an average of 6.6 percent for the 2005-06 season. To purchase tickets, fans can stop by the Fan Information Booth on the main concourse at KeyArena's West Entrance during games, call 206-283-DUNK or visit supersonics.com.

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