A Healthy Bell Sparks Suns Past Magic

Saturday, December 1st 2007, 4:17 pm
By: News On 6

(AP) - The Suns got their ``heart and soul'' back, and that was enough to overcome the Magic's ``Monster''. A healthy Raja Bell had a season-high 20 points to pace Phoenix to a 110-106 victory on Friday night over Orlando, the NBA's winningest team.

``This morning I felt I could move the way I wanted,'' said Bell, slowed by ankle and back injuries this season. ``At the shootaround, I felt excited. I had good energy. I keep using the word excited because I haven't felt that way in a long time.''

``Maybe now I'll get out of my funk.''

Orlando's Dwight Howard, who had a career-high 39 points and 16 rebounds against Seattle on Wednesday night, followed that with 30 points and a season-high 23 rebounds at Phoenix. Howard had eight dunks in the second 30-20 game of his career.

``He's a monster,'' Phoenix coach Mike D'Antoni said.

In other NBA games, it was: Toronto 91, Cleveland 82; Philadelphia 85, Washington 84; New Orleans 92, Atlanta 86; New York 91, Milwaukee 88; Boston 95, Miami 85; San Antonio 106, Minnesota 91; Dallas 91, Portland 80; Seattle 95, Indiana 93; Utah 120, the Los Angeles Lakers 96; and Denver 123, the Los Angeles Clippers 107

The Magic are 14-4, with two of their losses against the Suns, who also beat them 106-96 at Orlando Nov. 10. Orlando had been 9-1 since then.

Amare Stoudemire had 19 points and 10 rebounds, Shawn Marion had 18 points and nine rebounds, Grant Hill scored 15 points, Leandro Barbosa 17, and Steve Nash added 15 points and 14 assists for the Suns (12-4), who led all the way and snapped a two-game skid.

Stoudemire had the tough task of trying to contain Howard.

``He's a force down low,'' Stoudemire said. ``He dunks and dunks and dunks. Once he gets a few dunks, his confidence goes up and he gets in attack mode.''

Howard, however, hurt the Magic with eight turnovers and by missing six of 10 foul shots.

Hedo Turkoglu added 25 points for the Magic and Rashard Lewis had 18.

Bell, whose previous high this season was 16, had 18 in the first half _ on 7-of-10 shooting, including all four of his 3-point attempts. Considered doubtful to start Friday, Bell appeared to have more spring in his step than in recent games, showing no ill effects of his physical ailments.

``It was good to see Raja back,'' D'Antoni said. ``That was the old Raja. Raja played great. We needed him. He's our heart and soul.''

Bell had totaled only 30 points in his previous three games since coming back from his injuries.

With the help of Bell's pinpoint shooting, the Suns established a 60-50 halftime lead. They were aided by 12 Orlando turnovers, leading to 12 points.

``We didn't play well enough or long enough,'' Orlando coach Stan Van Gundy said. ``I'll give our guys some credit for their resilience at the end. But I'm not going to act like it was a great performance.''

Celtics 95, Heat 85

Paul Pierce scored 18 of his 27 points in the first quarter, Kevin Garnett added 23 and NBA-leading Boston wasted most of a 28-point lead before beating host Miami.

Jason Williams scored 22 points and hit three 3-pointers to spark a 24-3 run, one that drew the Heat within seven points with 3:56 left.

Spurs 106, Timberwolves 91

Manu Ginobili scored a season-high 31 points, and visiting San Antonio rallied to hand Minnesota its 12th loss in 14 games.

Al Jefferson had 23 points and 11 rebounds for the Timberwolves, and Sebastian Telfair scored 17 points despite some erratic play at point guard.

Mavericks 91, Trail Blazers 80

Josh Howard had 23 points and a season-high 14 rebounds, and host Dallas overcame Dirk Nowitzki's 11-point performance.

Dallas-area native and former University of Texas star LaMarcus Aldridge led the Trail Blazers with 22 points, 12 rebounds and a career-high five blocked shots.

76ers 85, Wizards 84

Samuel Dalembert had 19 points and 11 rebounds, Andre Miller scored 18 points and Philadelphia snapped a two-game losing streak at home.

Caron Butler scored 20 points.

Knicks 91, Bucks 88

Jamal Crawford made the go-ahead basket with 28 seconds left, and host New York erased a 17-point deficit to win a night after 45-point loss to Boston.

Michael Redd scored 27 points for the Bucks, but missed two late 3-point attempts in Milwaukee's third straight loss.

Raptors 91, Cavaliers 82

Andrea Bargnani and Carlos Delfino had career highs with 26 and 24 points each, and Toronto beat visiting Cleveland in a game that stars LeBron James and Chris Bosh missed with injuries.

Daniel Gibson led Cleveland with 24 points and seven assists.

Hornets 92, Hawks 86

David West had 22 points and 17 rebounds and New Orleans won for the eighth time in 10 road games this season.

The Hawks committed 20 turnovers, which New Orleans turned into 22 points.

Marvin Williams led the Hawks with 18 points.

Jazz 120, Lakers 96

Andrei Kirilenko had his third career triple-double and Deron Williams scored a career-high 35 points to help host Utah overcome injuries to two starters.

Kirilenko finished with 20 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists, along with six steals for the Jazz, who won without leading scorer Carlos Boozer (ankle) and center Mehmet Okur (back spasms).

Kobe Bryant had 28 points to lead the lackluster Lakers.

SuperSonics 95, Pacers 93

Kevin Durant scored 22 of his career-high 35 points in the second half, and the SuperSonics became the final NBA team to win at home this season after starting 0-7.

Durant made 12 of 20 shots and added five rebounds and three blocks. Danny Granger led Indiana with 21 points, but made just four of 18 shots.

Nuggets 123, Clippers 107

Allen Iverson scored 26 points and Carmelo Anthony added 24 to help host Denver snap a three-game skid. J.R. Smith scored 22, hitting six 3-pointers, and Anthony Carter had a season-high 10 assists for the Nuggets.

The Clippers have now dropped six of their last seven games.

Corey Maggette finished with 26 points in his second game back from a strained right hamstring for Los Angeles, which has lost six of seven.