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Ridnour leads Sonics over Hornets; Paul injured

Dec 27, 2006 - 7:08 AM SEATTLE (Ticker) -- With Chris Paul injured, Luke Ridnour was the best little man on the floor.

Ridnour had 27 points and nine assists and Ray Allen scored 10 of his 21 points in a decisive fourth quarter as the Seattle SuperSonics posted a 102-94 victory over the struggling New Orleans Hornets.

Chris Wilcox collected 22 points and 10 rebounds for the SuperSonics, who shot a blistering 55 percent (42-of-77) from the field to pick up their second straight victory after a six-game losing streak.

After Paul sprained his right ankle with 1:18 remaining in the opening quarter, Ridnour was able to drive past reserve guard Jannero Pargo at will.

"(Paul's) the floor general," Pargo said. "He's the leader of this team. Even if we had everybody here, if he goes out it hurts a lot. With him gone, I have to take the challenge and responsibility to do the best I can to try to run this team."

Paul will miss two to four games with his sprained ankle.

The 6-2 Ridnour shot 11-of-17 from the floor, 3-of-4 from the arc and used his quickness to collapse the Hornets' defense and feed open teammates.

"I was trying to stay aggressive," Ridnour said. "They pushed the ball right at us and we kept fighting."

With the game tied, 72-72, entering the fourth period, Seattle outscored the Hornets, 30-22, in the final 12 minutes. Allen led the charge, making 3-of-4 shots from the field, 2-of-3 from the arc and both of his free throws in the quarter.

"We just kept the ball moving and made good plays," Allen said. "We also got rebounds and that kind of took them out of their transition. We just stayed steady and they just had no answer for us."

Pargo scored a season-high 23 points for the Hornets, who shot 46 percent (37-of-81) en route to losing for the sixth time in seven games.