Suns crush Lakers to take 2-0 series lead
Phoenix, AZ (Sports Network) - Leandro Barbosa poured in 26 point as the Phoenix Suns embarrassed the Los Angeles Lakers, 126-98, in Game 2 of their first-round playoff series.
The Suns needed a second-half rally in Game 1 to edge the Lakers, 95-87. Tuesday's contest, however, was over by halftime as Phoenix won going away.
Barbosa, who was awarded his Sixth Man of the Year Award prior to the game, shot 11-of-18 from the floor and 4-of-8 from three-point range and Amare Stoudemire had 20 points, nine rebounds and four blocks for the Suns, who outscored LA, 37-22, in the decisive second quarter.
Reigning two-time MVP Steve Nash had 16 points and 14 assists while Shawn Marion had 18 points and 10 boards for Phoenix.
Kobe Bryant went just 5-of-13 from the floor and finished with just 15 points for the Lakers, who have lost five straight to Phoenix in the postseason. To add insult to injury, Bryant landed hard on his right ankle in the fourth quarter and left the game.
Game 3 is scheduled for Thursday at the Staples Center in LA.
Layups by Bryant and Lamar Odom tied the game at 15-15 midway through the opening quarter, but a pair of Nash baskets sandwiched around a Stoudemire dunk gave Phoenix a 21-15 lead with just over four minutes left.
A Barbosa three gave the Suns a 31-25 lead at the end of the quarter and the momentum carried into the second, as baskets by Barbosa and Boris Diaw, followed by another Barbosa trey, quickly put Phoenix up 38-25.
A pair of Brian Cook free throws brought LA within 10, but the Suns responded with a 13-2 spurt, capped by a Marion alley oop dunk and another three-pointer by Barbosa, to push their advantage to 21, 55-34, with just under five minutes to play in the second.
Phoenix took a 68-47 lead into the locker room and led by as much as 28 in the third quarter. The Suns carried a 95-70 advantage into the fourth, where they cruised to a 2-0 series lead.
The Suns ended a five-game losing streak in Game 2's...Jordan Farmar, Odom and Maurice Evans each scored 10 points for the Lakers. Andrew Bynum added nine points and a game-high 12 rebounds for LA.LAL PHO