Phoenix trades for Richardson

The Phoenix Suns jettisoned two familiar players to Charlotte, and got the Bobcats' leading scorer in exchange.

In the latest move in their ongoing makeover, the Suns traded Raja Bell and Boris Diaw to the Bobcats on Wednesday as part of a deal for Jason Richardson.

"We felt like we needed to shake things up a little bit," Suns General Manager Steve Kerr said. "We wanted to add a great scorer in the backcourt to give us better balance to take some of the pressure off of Steve (Nash)."

Rookie point guard Sean Singletary also went to Charlotte, while the Suns got small forward Jared Dudley and a 2010 second-round draft pick.

"I think it was an opportunity for us to get better," Phoenix Coach Terry Porter said, "a guy who can get 20 points a night, adds athleticism for us."

The 6-foot-6 Richardson is a two-time NBA slam dunk champion and an accomplished three-point shooter who is averaging 18.7 points this season and 18.8 for his pro career.

Bell, a first-team all-defensive team selection in 2006-07 and second-team pick last season, had made it clear he was not happy with the Suns' switch from Coach Mike D'Antoni's high-flying style to Porter's more deliberate approach.

The versatile Diaw had seen his playing time dwindle behind Amare Stoudemire.

Wednesday's highlights

Nuggets 116, Timberwolves 105: Carmelo Anthony matched the NBA record for points in a quarter with 33 in the third and finished with a season-high 45 points in the Nuggets' victory over the visiting Timberwolves.

Anthony tied the NBA mark of 33 points set by San Antonio's George Gervin in the second quarter against New Orleans on April 9, 1978. Anthony broke the franchise record of 32 set by David Thompson against Detroit, also on April 9, 1978.

"That was one of the greatest quarters I've ever been a part of," Anthony said.

Cavaliers 101, 76ers 93: LeBron James scored 29 points, Mo Williams added a season-high 27 and the Cavaliers cruised to their 10th consecutive victory.

Anderson Varejao added 15 points, and Ben Wallace had 10 rebounds for the Central Division-leading Cavaliers, who improved to 19-3 and 7-3 on the road. They are one win shy of tying the franchise record of 11 straight wins set during the 1988-89 season.

Elton Brand returned from a two-game absence with a strained right hamstring and had 10 rebounds for Philadelphia, which also has lost five consecutive home games.

Knicks 121, Nets 109: Al Harrington scored a season-high 39 points, fellow New Jersey high school star Tim Thomas also had his best game of the season, and the visiting Knicks rallied to beat the Nets.

Harrington was a point shy of his career high, while Thomas scored a season-high 26. Acquired in separate deals on the same day last month, Harrington and Thomas were too athletic for the Nets' forwards, helping New York storm back from a poor start.

Spurs 95, Hawks 89: Manu Ginobili scored 27 points in a return to his sixth-man role to help the host Spurs beat Atlanta for their fourth straight victory. Ginobili, the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year last season, scored 14 points in the fourth quarter. He started for the Spurs in the last four games.

Grizzlies 108, Thunder 102: Rudy Gay had 22 points, and backup point guard Mike Conley scored 14 of 16 points in fourth quarter to help the visiting Gizzlies.

O.J. Mayo added 18 points to pass Magic Johnson for the third longest streak of double-figure scoring games to start a career. Only Dan Issel (27) and Bobby Jones (24), who played for the Nuggets in the franchise's first season in the NBA in 1976, had longer streaks than Mayo's 22 in a row.

Cavs' Gibson sidelined

Cavaliers guard Daniel Gibson will miss at least two weeks because of a toe injury, the team's first significant setback of the season. Gibson sprained his left big toe in the second quarter Tuesday night against Toronto. He is averaging 9.4 points and 24 minutes.

Three-team trade

The Hornets sent veteran guard Mike James to Washington on Wednesday in exchange for Antonio Daniels as part of a three-team trade that returned a future first-round draft pick from the Wizards to the Grizzlies. Memphis also dealt second-year guard Javaris Crittenton to Washington and sent a conditional second-round pick to New Orleans, while the Wizards waived guard Dee Brown.