Wednesday , May , 03 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Suns’ Bell suspended for Game 6

New York, NY (Sports Network) – The NBA announced on Wednesday that guard
Raja Bell has been suspended for one game without pay for unnecessary and
excessive contact with the Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant during Game 5 of
their Western Conference quarterfinal series.

The Suns avoided elimination on Wednesday with a 114-97 victory at U.S.
Airways Center in Phoenix. The Lakers lead the best-of-seven series 3-2 with
Game 6 on Thursday in Los Angeles.

The two players had already been called for a double-technical in the second
quarter of Game 5 before Bell horse-collared Bryant as he was driving past him
with 7:33 left in the contest. Bell was immediately assessed a flagrant two
foul and tossed.

“It was a bad play,” Bell said after the game. “I kind of lost my head there
for a second. I don’t know what to expect. “It’s been a pretty physical
series. At that point I caught an elbow in my jaw and overreacted a little
bit. I can’t really blame anybody. It was the heat of the moment and I could
have cost my team.”

It has been toughly contested series as the teams have combined for 11
technical fouls and a few on-court altercations. Bryant and Steve Nash were
shouting at one another in Game 2 and Kwame Brown elbowed Boris Diaw to the
ground in Game 3, leading to a verbal confrontation between several players
and coaches.