TORONTO, March 31 (Ticker) --
The Phoenix Suns seem to enjoy playing in
scored 17 of his career-high 28 points in the
first half and Boris Diaw
added 26 and nine rebounds as the Suns
breezed to a 140-126 victory over the slumping Toronto Raptors,
who wasted a 74-point effort from their starting backcourt.
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Phoenix have won two straight after dropping the first two
contests of its five-game road trip by an average of 30 points.
"After the way we played against New Jersey and Milwaukee it was
nice to get back to the way we play," said Diaw, who also had
had 21 points and 12 rebounds and Steve Nash
collected 20 points and 10 assists for the Suns, who had seven
players score in double figures and held a 58-40 advantage in
"In the NBA, you are not going to win every game but we wanted
to come out and set the tempo with our style of play," said
Marion, who registered his 55th double-double. "Everybody was
helping each other, making the extra pass and that's what makes
us click, being so unselfish. We all contributed and were able
to put up a lot of points."
Toronto trailed by as many as 15 points before Morris Peterson,
who scored a career-high 38 points, drained his fifth 3-pointer
with just over three minutes remaining in the third quarter to
cut the deficit to 96-93.
"I thought it was a track meet," said Peterson, who shot 6-of-10
from the arc. "Every time we got the lead down to one, they
just turned it up." The Suns bridged the quarters with a 19-6
run, opening a 115-99 advantage on back-to-back dunks by Marion
and Diaw with 8 1/2 minutes to play. The Raptors got no closer
than 10 thereafter.
"Barbosa, Diaw and Marion know how to play and that's why we're
so potent, even with Steve on the bench the score is not
dropping off," Phoenix coach Mike D'Antoni
"Every time we scored they would just bring it back quickly and
end up with an easy basket," Peterson added.
scored 16 points and James Jones
chipped in 14 for
Phoenix, which shot 58 percent (51-of-88) from the field and
made 15-of-27 3-pointers. It also registered 22 fast-break
"When they cut the lead our energy had dropped," said Thomas,
who shot 7-of-8 from the bench. "It's our job to come off the
bench to keep up the energy and tonight we were able to pick it
Toronto's starting backcourt of Peterson and Mike James
scored 36 points, combined to make 24 field goals,
including 10 from the arc.
"They shot over 55 percent and it's tough to win the game when a
team is shooting that well," said James, who added 10 assists.
scored a career-high 15 points off the bench and
added 13 and a career-best 15 rebounds for Raptors, who
shot 49 percent (45-of-91).
The 266 combined points set a Toronto franchise record.