Riley dealt O'Neal to Phoenix before the trade deadline, allowing him to compete for another title instead of sticking around Miami for a last-place finish. O'Neal made it clear how much he prefers his new teammates.
"I love playing for this coach, and I love playing with these guys," O'Neal told the Globe. "We have professionals who know what to do. No one is asking me to play with Chris Quinn or Ricky Davis. I'm actually on a team again."
Last night's games
Celtics 117, Suns 97
BOSTON - Kevin Garnett scored 30 points, the final two to an "M-V-P!" chant echoing through the new Boston Garden, and Paul Pierce scored 12 of his 27 in the fourth quarter to lead Boston over Phoenix.
Rajon Rondo scored 14 points with six rebounds and six assists while frustrating O'Neal into a technical foul as Boston turned a tie game into a double-digit lead in the third.
Hornets 100, Cavaliers 99
CLEVELAND - David West's 17-foot jumper off Chris Paul's 20th assist with less than a second left took New Orleans past Cleveland for its fifth straight win.
Paul drove left, picked up a screen against LeBron James, and drew three defenders before spinning and whipping a pass to West, who dropped a jumper with 0.6 seconds left.
Raptors 89, Pistons 82
TORONTO - Chris Bosh scored 21 points, and T.J. Ford had 13 points and nine assists in his return to the starting lineup as Toronto beat Detroit.
Rockets 97, Timberwolves 86
HOUSTON - Tracy McGrady scored 13 of his 23 points in the fourth, and Luis Scola had 18 points and 18 rebounds as Houston beat Minnesota to keep pace in the West.
Hawks 115, Bucks 96
ATLANTA - Joe Johnson scored 28 points, Josh Childress added 20, and Atlanta beat Milwaukee to maintain the eighth and final playoff position in the East.
Nets 124, Pacers 117
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Devin Harris had 22 points and 15 assists, and New Jersey kept pace with Atlanta for the East's final playoff berth with a win over Indiana.
Spurs 97, Clippers 88
SAN ANTONIO - Tim Duncan had 26 points and 12 rebounds, and San Antonio withstood a late rally to beat Los Angeles.
Knicks 103, Heat 96
NEW YORK - Jamal Crawford scored 24 points, including the go-ahead jumper with about 2 1/2 minutes left in overtime, and New York beat Miami to end its longest home losing streak in nearly 45 years.