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Bell, Stoudemire get hot as Suns scorch Grizzlies

Mar 27, 2007 - 6:10 AM PHOENIX (Ticker) -- Big nights from Raja Bell and Amare Stoudemire just weren't enough to get Phoenix Suns coach Mike D'Antoni excited.

Bell scored 29 points and Stoudemire added 27 as the Phoenix Suns rolled to a 105-87 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies that did not impress their coach.

Bell provided the outside shooting for Phoenix, hitting six 3-pointers, and Stoudemire was too much for Memphis in the paint as he made 12-of-17 shots and added 12 rebounds.

Already having locked up the Pacific Division title, the Suns had been struggling of late and were just 2-3 in their last five games but a meeting with the Grizzlies helped them get back to their winning ways.

But the win did not do much for D'Antoni.

"It is nothing to get excited about, I thought we played OK," D'Antoni said. "There were some good things, Raja shot the ball really well and that is key for us. Amare obviously had a big night. We did our job.

"I don't think this was a measuring stick because we need to measure ourselves against Dallas and San Antonio."

The Suns certainly are way beyond comparing themselves to the Grizzlies, who continue to struggle. Memphis has lost four straight to fall to a league-worst 5-30 away from home and has dropped nine of its last 12 visits to Phoenix.

Phoenix led, 31-27, after the first quarter and opened the second on a 12-4 run to take control. Bell started the spurt with a 3-pointer, Stoudemire added a jumper and Bell capped the run with a basket to make it 43-31 with 7:18 to play before the half.

"It was one of those nights we were out in transition and I was going to get a lot of looks," Bell said. "I recognized it was going to be one of those nights early and I just tried to shoot them when I was open and my teammates delivered the ball.

"Some nights you don't get the kind of shots you like and you don't get them in a rhythm that keeps you hot. Tonight was one of those nights it just kept on coming to me."

Memphis pulled within 71-63 with 3:41 left in the third quarter but Stoudemire ignited a 9-1 run to close the quarter with a three-point play as Phoenix took an 80-64 lead into the fourth and cruised to victory.

"If we can get the inside game going and then the outside, we are a team that is hard to stop," Stoudemire said.

Pau Gasol scored 21 points and had 10 rebounds for Memphis.

"They made shots and we didn't. They're a better team," Gasol said. "Obviously we're very shorthanded. We have a lot of guys down but we've still got to do it with the guys that we have. We have to be able to play with a little bit more confidence offensively."

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