Suns Race Past Seattle 110-98

Associated Press Published: March 20, 2008
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SEATTLE (AP) -- Steve Nash scored 23 points, Amare Stoudemire dominated inside with 26 points and the Phoenix Suns overcame a season-high 27 turnovers to beat the Seattle SuperSonics 110-98 on Wednesday night.

It was Phoenix's sixth straight win - its second longest streak this season - and pulled the Suns within a half game of New Orleans and the idle Lakers for the best record in the Western Conference.

But the bigger concern afterward for Phoenix was the health of Raja Bell, who injured his right ankle late in the third quarter after hitting his sixth 3-pointer. Bell's basket with 2:57 left in the third gave the Suns an 80-78 lead after Seattle had taken its first lead of the game.

Seattle's Kevin Durant ran out on Bell during the shot, and Bell's right foot landed on Durant's foot. Bell immediately fell to the court in pain and was helped off the floor by teammates. He did not return.

X-rays were negative and Suns' athletic trainer Aaron Nelson said Bell had a mild to moderate sprain, but how long Bell might be out won't be determined until Thursday.

Turns out, Bell's basket was the catalyst for the Suns' decisive surge. After Donyell Marshall gave Seattle a 78-77 lead with a pair of free throws, Bell's 3 started an 11-0 run by Phoenix, capped by Shaquille O'Neal's baseline leaner with 10:40 left that pushed the Suns advantage to 89-78.

Seattle briefly pulled within eight, before Stoudemire and Leandro Barbosa combined to scored eight of the next 10 points to push the Suns' lead back to 14.

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