(3-1, 2-0 away)
7:30 PM ET, November 4, 2008
IZOD Center, East Rutherford, NJ
Bell hits all six 3-pointers, Sun rocket past Nets behind strong offensive night
It was almost a perfect game for Phoenix, and the New Jersey Nets never had chance once the Suns stopped turning the ball over in the second half.
• The Suns held the Nets to nine points on 3-for-20 shooting in the fourth quarter.
• Raja Bell hit all six of his 3-pointers, the third time in his career he has attempted six 3-pointers without a miss.
• The Nets fell to 1-9 in their last 10 games against the Suns.
-- ESPN research
Bell hit all six of his 3-pointers and scored 22 points, and the Phoenix Suns shot 63 percent from the field in beating the 114-86 on Tuesday night.
"It's a tough call for any team when you have guys who can shoot the ball and fellas like Amare and Shaq in the post," Bell said. "You have to pick your poison. Some nights you pick, and what you pick works. Some nights everything is going and you can't do anything about it. I think tonight was just one of those nights we shot the skin off the ball. They were damned if they did and damned if they didn't."
Nash added 12 points and 11 assists, O'Neal had 18 points and six rebounds, and Stoudemire added 14 points as the Suns won for the third time in four games.
"We're building but I think we have a chance to have great chemistry," Nash said. "But it's important for us to keep working at it."
Vince Carter had 19 points and Yi Jianlian added 15 and eight rebounds for the Nets, who lost their second straight game.
"When you got Shaq and Amare down in the paint and Steve running the show and the shooters that they have, we have to defend the 3 and do a better job in the paint," Nets forward Jarvis Hayes said. "They just got anything they wanted at any point and that made it tough for us."
The only thing that kept the game interesting and close was the Suns' 20 turnovers and election updates during timeouts.
The New York metropolitan area crowd was decidedly pro Barack Obama, cheering wildly each time he either won a state or his electoral college lead was posted. John McCain wins were greeted with boos.
For the game, the Suns were 43-of-68 from the field, and 12-of-18 from 3-point range. The Nets shot 34 percent, hitting 28 of 83 shots.
Phoenix never trailed, scoring the first seven points with Bell and Matt Barnes each hitting 3-pointers.
New Jersey, which trailed by 11 points in the opening minutes, got within three points late in the first quarter before Grant Hill pushed the lead to five with a short runner.
The second quarter followed the same script with Boris Diaw and Nash hitting a short shot and layup, respectively, in the final minute to give Phoenix a 65-55 lead. The Suns shot almost 77 percent in the half (23-of-30) but they also had 16 turnovers that led to 14 point that kept New Jersey in the game.
The Suns blew the game open in the third quarter as O'Neal scored 10 points, while Nash added seven points, three assists and two rebounds to push the lead to 92-77. Bell, who was 7-of-9 from the field, hit his final three 3-pointers in the quarter.
"Shots were falling and that makes it easier for me when guys are hitting threes," said O'Neal, who was 7 of 8 from the field. "Like I said we came out hot, so Vince [Carter] and the guys had to step out and that left me there by myself."
Nets F Sean Williams made his season debut in the second quarter and scored 16 seconds later. ... Suns swingman Alando Tucker had successful arthroscopic knee surgery. He will be sidelined about four weeks. ...Carter had five assists and moved into sixth place overall in Nets' history with 1,401.
Team Stat Comparison
|FGM-FGA||43-68 (.632)||28-83 (.337)|
|3PM-3PA||12-18 (.667)||7-22 (.318)|
|FTM-FTA||16-23 (.696)||23-26 (.885)|
|Fast Break Points||20||16|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||19 (2/0)||18 (1/0)|