Barbosa, Suns race past RaptorsDec 6, 2007 - 4:15 AM TORONTO (Ticker) -- The Phoenix Suns had too many weapons for the shorthanded Toronto Raptors to handle on Wednesday.
Leandro Barbosa scored 35 points to lead six others in double figures as the Suns snapped the Raptors' four-game home winning streak with a 136-123 victory.
Amare Stoudemire netted 25 points, Canadian Steve Nash had 10 and 18 assists and Shawn Marion added 10 and 14 boards to help the Suns capture their fourth straight win.
"We came out strong, Shawn did a great job of rebounding, Leandro did a great job shooting the three for us and Steve did a great job of distributing," Stoudemire said. "It was a great all-around game for us and we wanted to make sure we maintained the lead."
Known as the "Brazilian Blur," Barbosa drained 14-of-23 shots, including 5-of-14 from long range. The 25-year-old came within four of tying his career high set last month at Orlando.
"I felt good shooting the ball and the coach said if you're open just shoot the ball, so I was able to find my rhythm," Barbosa said.
"(Barbosa) got on quite a roll there and it makes us difficult to guard when we can really spread the floor," Nash said.
In the second quarter, Barbosa torched Toronto with 13 points during a 15-5 burst to help create an 11-point edge with 4:56 left. He buried four shots from the arc en rout to a 22-point first-half performance as the Suns took a 61-56 lead at the break.
Toronto All-Star forward Chris Bosh (groin) missed his fifth consecutive game and former No. 1 overall pick Andrea Bargnani (knee) sat out his third. Both rank among the team leaders in points and rebounds.
"It's tough to be able without Chris and Andrea but that's the way the NBA is. When someone goes down, other guys have to step up and for the most part we did a decent job," Raptors guard Anthony Parker said.
The Suns took control in the third period as they jumped out with an 11-2 run over the first two minutes. Grant Hill and Raja Bell both hit 3-pointers to forge a 72-60 lead.
"We all pitched in well in the third quarter and that's when we are at our best," said Bell, who finished with 15 points. "We knew that if we could keep pushing and get some stops we would be able to extend our lead."
Phoenix continued to impose its offensive force, opening up a commanding 90-71 lead when Bell drilled his fourth 3-pointer of the period at the 5:22 mark.
Toronto was outscored, 43-27, in the quarter and trailed by 21 points heading into the final 12 minutes.
T.J. Ford poured in 27 points off the bench and Parker had 22 and three steals for the Raptors, who haven't won in the series since February 10, 2004 - a span of seven meetings.
"They played well and when they shoot the ball the way they did, especially from three, it's tough for anyone to beat them," Parker said.
TORONTO 123 FINAL
Dec 5 9:19 PM
TORONTO 85 END, 3RD QTR
Dec 5 8:49 PM
TORONTO 56 HALFTIME
Dec 5 8:03 PM
TORONTO 28 END, 1ST QTR
Dec 5 7:34 PM
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