Suns Make 20 Threes, Rout Hornets
Phoenix 115, New Orleans/Oklahoma City 78
PHOENIX, April 17 (Ticker) -- The Phoenix Suns had the stroke from deep going against the New Orleans Hornets.
Leandro Barbosa had 21 points and eight rebounds and James Jones scored 20 points as the Suns set a season-high with 20 3-pointers en route to a 115-78 victory over the Hornets, who have dropped five of their last six games.
"Its always nice to shoot a high percentage but I think we have to understand why we were able to shoot a high percentage - our floor spacing was awesome, we were running the floor and really playing unselfish," said Bell, who scored 19 points. "You're not going to shoot that well every night, we got to understand why we knocked them down, and that's a good thing to take away from the game."
Reigning league MVP Steve Nash, who missed his last outing while resting a pair of leg injuries, scored 12 points in his return to the Suns' lineup.
"The main thing, we got Steve and Raja back. They looked good, felt good, I think it went really well," Suns coach Mike D'Antoni said. "That's what we accomplished, I don't know if you can read anything else in, we did shoot the ball extremely well from the arc, but we will do that on occasion."
The Suns held a five-point advantage at the start of the second quarter and pulled away for good as House's 3-pointer capped a 17-6 surge that gave them a commanding 42-26 edge.
"It seemed like everything they threw up went in, they had a lot of open looks, we just didn't contest them well at certain times," said Hornets swingman Desmond Mason, who scored 10 points. "There were some that were contested, they knocked them down. When teams are shooting like that, its tough."
New Orleans trailed by 14 points at intermission and never answered thereafter.
House scored 15 points and Jones pulled down a season-high 10 rebounds for the Suns, who shot 56 percent (43-of-76) from the field and scored 20 fast-break points.
The No. 2 seed in the upcoming Western Conference playoffs, Phoenix (53-28) finished 31-10 at home.
Marc Jackson and rookie Chris Paul scored 11 points apiece and J.R. Smith added 10 for the Hornets, who shot 34 percent (30-of-89) and made just 3-of-13 from the arc.