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Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2011

Bell-led Jazz edge Pistons

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) It's been nearly six years since the Detroit Pistons defeated the Utah Jazz.

News photo
Ready to swat: Philadelphia's Elton Brand goes up for a shot against New Orleans' Emeka Okafor on Monday night. AP PHOTO

That wouldn't change Monday night, even if Tayshaun Prince was scoring from everywhere and 13-year veteran Tracy McGrady came within a rebound of a triple-double.

Raja Bell made sure of it, hitting a 3-pointer with 50 seconds remaining then sinking two free throws after Detroit cut it to one again, leading Utah to a 102-97 victory.

"It was huge, a timely shot that we needed," Deron Williams said of Bell's 3-pointer. "Paul (Millsap) did a great job of swinging it, getting Raja a nice open look."

Williams added a pair of free throws for the final points.

The Jazz (24-11) have now won 11 straight against Detroit (11-23), with the Pistons' last win coming March 23, 2005.

"It feels good," said Millsap, who finished with 15 points and 10 rebounds. "We gutted it out. They ran off a lot of screens and were getting any look they wanted. They missed a few shots down the stretch and we made some big plays."

McGrady, starting in place of leading scorer Rodney Stuckey, missed a 3-pointer that would have tied it at 100, and Al Jefferson grabbed the rebound to seal the victory.

The wild finish erased yet another slow start for the Jazz, who fell behind 22-16 early, and trailed 79-78 entering the fourth.

"The good thing is we're a closing team," Bell said.

"We've been in tight games this year and kept plugging away. You could see us really close ranks there in the fourth quarter and start executing our stuff."

Bell also said he was confident he'd get his chance, even if he was 0-for-2 from 3-point territory before the game-winner.

Heat 96, Bobcats 82

In Charlotte, LeBron James scored 38 points and Dwyane Wade added 31 point as Miami dominated the second half to beat the short-handed Bobcats for its 11th straight road win.

Playing for the first time against Paul Silas, his first NBA coach in Cleveland, James scored 26 of his points in the second half and added nine rebounds. Wade grabbed 11 boards in the Heat's 18th win in 19 games.

Magic 110, Warriors 90

In Orlando, Hedo Turkoglu had 10 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists, and Dwight Howard added 22 points and 17 rebounds as the hosts beat Golden State.

Celtics 96, Timberwolves 93

In Boston, Paul Pierce scored 23 points to help the Celtics overcome a double-digit deficit — and another double-digit rebounding performance by Kevin Love — to beat Minnesota.

Love had 24 rebounds and 12 points, but he airballed a jumper with just over a minute left and the T-Wolves trailing by one.

Hornets 84, 76ers 77

In New Orleans, David West scored 17 points as the Hornets held on to defeat Philadelphia.

Elton Brand led the Sixers with 14 points and 10 rebounds, while Andres Nocioni had 13 points and Jrue Holiday and Marreese Speights each had 12 points.

Nuggets 113, Rockets 106

In Denver, Carmelo Anthony scored 33 points, including 13 of 14 free throws, as the Nuggets pulled ahead late in the fourth quarter to beat Houston for their fourth consecutive win.

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