Barbosa, Suns overwhelm Lakers; Bryant injures ankleApr 25, 2007 - 6:55 AM PHOENIX (Ticker) -- Led by newly minted Sixth Man of the Year Leandro Barbosa, the Phoenix Suns seemed to have six men on the court. The Los Angeles Lakers hope they aren't minus their most important man - Kobe Bryant.
Barbosa blitzed defenders from the outset, scoring 17 of his 26 points in the first half as the Suns dismantled Bryant and the Lakers with a 126-98 victory on Tuesday in Game Two of their first-round series.
Amare Stoudemire collected 20 points and nine rebounds for Phoenix, which took a two-games-to-none lead in the best-of-seven series. The Suns took a 3-1 advantage against Los Angeles in the first round last season before needing seven games to advance.
"I don't want to get to far ahead of ourselves," Phoenix coach Mike D'Antoni said. "Things are going to get psyched up. We've won two games and now we have to go on their court. It's good up until now, and we're happy with where we are but there is still a lof basketball to be played."
"It's 2-0, nothing is finished yet," Barbosa said. "We are going to L.A. to play against them. They are going to come strong, so we have to be tough and focused for the next couple of games we have."
Game Three is in Los Angeles on Thursday, and Lakers coach Phil Jackson is glad his will be able to take a day off to regroup.
"We just have to take the time, a break (Wednesday), look at the tape and try to explain it the best we can as how to make adjustments," Jackson said. "That's all you do in this game, a loss is a loss in the playoffs, one point is a painful loss.
"We didn't have it, we weren't quick, we weren't active, we weren't aggressive. They took it to us, now let's get back and play. These guys play 100 games in a season, they know they have nights like this."
Bryant, who scored just 15 points on 5-of-13 shooting, rolled his ankle with 7:59 left.
"It's OK," Bryant said. "It's pretty stiff but I tape that ankle pretty high, so it protected me pretty well."
"It was 8:59. It's not that late in the ballgame," Jackson said. "It's a lot of time to play, and (the Suns) still had some of their starters in at that point. (Boris) Diaw and Barbosa, who I consider regulars."
After a timeout, he returned to the floor but then retreated to the locker room for further examination of his ankle with the Suns leading, 115-87, with 4:29 left. He had no answer to why Jackson did not sit him down immediately after the injury with the game in hand.
"I don't know, I don't know," Bryant said. "(Jackson) told me to go back in, so I went back in and I played."
Barbosa received his award before the game after he was announced as the winner on Monday. One day earlier, he scored 15 of his 26 points during a five-minute stretch in the second half to lead the Suns to a 95-87 victory in the series opener.
It was more of the same on Tuesday for Barbosa, who shot 11-of-18 from the field, including 4-of-8 from the arc. The lightning-quick Brazilian led an offensive onslaught for Phoenix, which led by as many 32 points.
"This is the way I like to play, run up and down," Barbosa said. "We know they have a tough time to match up, especially when we run, so we have to do this all the time with every team so we have the advantage."
The Suns swarmed the Lakers from the start, finishing a slew of fast breaks with lob dunks and wide-open layups en route to a 68-47 lead entering the third quarter. Phoenix also dished out 30 assists, leaving Los Angeles overwhelmed.
"Just a little bit of everything, (Barbosa's) speed, Steve (Nash) and Shawn (Marion), everybody had something," D'Antoni said. "An extra gear tonight, and obviously a great team effort, I thought everybody played well."
Marion had 18 points and 10 rebounds and Nash collected 16 and 14 assists for the Suns, who shot 54 percent (50-of-92) from the field, including 11-of-26 on 3-pointers.
Nash and Stoudemire - who played 26 minutes apiece - sat for most of the fourth quarter, leading the cheers as little-used reserves Jalen Rose, Marcus Banks, Pat Burke and Eric Piatkowski finished the contest.
Lamar Odom had 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Lakers, who shot just 41 percent (36-of-87).
LA LAKERS 98
PHOENIX 126 FINAL
Apr 25 1:06 AM
LA LAKERS 70
PHOENIX 95 END, 3RD QTR
Apr 25 12:32 AM
LA LAKERS 47
PHOENIX 68 HALFTIME
Apr 24 11:46 PM
LA LAKERS 25
PHOENIX 31 END, 1ST QTR
Apr 24 11:11 PM
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