Sunday , May , 07 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Suns smoke Lakers to complete series comeback

Phoenix, AZ (Sports Network) – Leandro Barbosa led seven Suns in double figures with 26 points, as Phoenix completed a monumental series comeback to blow out the Los Angeles Lakers, 121-90, in Game 7 of their Western Conference quarterfinal set.

The second-seeded Suns blanketed Lakers star Kobe Bryant and became the eighth team in NBA history to overcome a 3-1 series deficit to advance, and will face the No. 6 seed Los Angeles Clippers in the conference semifinals, starting Monday in Phoenix.

Bryant hit for a playoff career-best 50 points in an overtime loss on Thursday. However, Raja Bell returned on defense following a one-game suspension and Barbosa also helped to hold Bryant to 24 points, including one in the second half. Bryant attempted just three shots in the second half.

Boris Diaw added 21 points and nine assists, while Shawn Marion contributed 14 points and 10 rebounds for Phoenix, which led the entire way.

Bell had been suspended for Game 6 after knocking Bryant to the floor in Tuesday’s contest. However, Bell used his offense with 13 points and got other help, as Steve Nash finished with 13 points and nine assists. Tim Thomas, who pushed Game 6 into overtime, ended with 12 points and James Jones scored 10.