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Phoenix rebounds in Philly

Suns roll past Sixers, put an end to road skid

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Associated Press / March 29, 2008

Shaquille O'Neal has played with Phoenix long enough to know the Suns don't go on three-game losing streaks.

Amare Stoudemire scored 22 points, Raja Bell had 20, and the Phoenix Suns avoided their first three-game losing skid of the season with a 107-93 win over the 76ers last night in Philadelphia.

The Suns lost consecutive road games at Detroit and Boston, yet had little problem thrashing the 76ers.

"We let two slip away and we knew this team [the 76ers] was a hot team, so thank God we got off to a fast start," O'Neal said.

O'Neal had 15 points and 13 rebounds, Leandro Barbosa scored 17 points, and Steve Nash had 10 assists to help the Suns race to a 50-26 lead.

Andre Miller had 16 points and 10 assists, Lou Williams scored 15 points and Andre Iguodala had 13 for Philadelphia.

The Sixers snapped a three-game winning streak, fell to 11-3 in March and lost for only the second time in their last 14 home games.

Still, they did show some fight in the third, slicing a 24-point deficit all the way to 10 on Rodney Carney's driving layup late in the quarter. The Sixers had some pretty fantastic comebacks and after a few minutes of inspired basketball, this one seemed almost poised to be the latest.

The Suns were simply too sharp from the floor and blew the game back open in the fourth. Stoudemire had a pair of rattling jams and Boris Diaw hit a 3 during an 11-2 run that pushed the lead back to 21 points.

The air was out of another packed crowd and the Sixers had no more runs left.

"We had a good enough focus and good enough energy and when we do that, we're tough to beat," Bell said.

Pacers 123, Nets 115 - Danny Granger scored 26 points and host Indiana beat New Jersey to halt a two-game losing skid and boost its playoff hopes.

Troy Murphy had 21 points and 17 rebounds for Indiana after missing the previous game with strep throat. Mike Dunleavy added 19 points for the Pacers.

Vince Carter scored 33 points, Devin Harris scored a career-high 27, and Josh Boone had 15 points and 16 rebounds for the Nets, who are just a game ahead of the Pacers after the loss. Both teams are chasing Atlanta for the eighth playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Indiana held New Jersey to 8-for-24 shooting in the fourth quarter. The Pacers shot 14 for 25 from 3-point range to earn a split in the season series.

Spurs 99, Timberwolves 84 - Manu Ginobili 16 of his 26 points in the fourth quarter and host San Antonio picked up its sixth straight win with a victory over Minnesota.

The Spurs, who began the night in fifth place in the West, moved into second place and sit just percentage points behind New Orleans. San Antonio was the first team in the conference to hit the 50-win mark.

After the Spurs squandered most of a 20-point lead in the third quarter, Ginobili took over. He scored 11 points in a span of 1:51 - including three 3-pointers - to put them up, 88-72, with just over six minutes to play.

Jazz 109, Clippers 91 - Carlos Boozer scored 34 and Deron Williams had 32 points to overcome the loss of the three other starters as Utah stopped reeling Los Angeles in Salt Lake City.

In their quest for the top spot in the Western Conference, the Jazz duo was nearly unstoppable as Utah finished its five-game homestand with a 4-1 mark and has now won 32 of their last 33 against the Clippers in Salt Lake City.

Mehmet Okur and Ronnie Brewer did not dress for the game because of the effects of a stomach virus. Andrei Kirilenko was scoreless in nine minutes before leaving with spasms in his right calf.

Magic 103, Bucks 86 - Dwight Howard had 25 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Orlando to its franchise-record 24th road victory.

Rashard Lewis added 16 points and seven rebounds, and Carlos Arroyo had 13 points and nine assists for the Magic, who improved to 24-13 on the road. The team was 15-26 last season.

Raptors 103, Knicks 95 - Chris Bosh had 29 points and 10 rebounds, Rasho Nesterovic added 18 points, and Toronto beat visiting New York.

Rasho Nesterovic had 18 points and Anthony Parker added 15 for the Raptors, who won their second in a row after losing 11 of their previous 14.

Hawks 106, Bulls 103 - Mike Bibby scored 30 points and host Atlanta held on after nearly blowing a 22-point lead, getting some breathing room in the Eastern Conference playoff race with a victory over slumping Chicago.

The Hawks, trying to make the playoffs for the first time since 1999, pushed their lead on New Jersey to 1 1/2 games for the eighth spot in the East.

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