PHOENIX, May 10 (Ticker) -- Elton Brand and Chris Kaman behaved like bullies as the Los Angeles Clippers pushed around the Phoenix Suns, who seemed too tired to push back.

Brand and Kaman dominated the paint and the Clippers overwhelmed the Suns with a 122-97 trouncing that knotted their Western Conference semifinal series at one game each.

NBA TV highlights from
Press Conference: Play
Sam Cassell and Cuttino Mobley scored 23 points apiece for the sixth-seeded Clippers, who abandoned the idea of trying to keep pace with the running, gunning Suns and instead flexed their muscles and wrested away home-court advantage.

"Our bigs were the ones who won the boards," Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy said. "We have a size advantage down there and as long as we keep our bigs close to the boards, that is what is supposed to happen."

Sparked by Cassell, the Clippers raced to a 20-6 lead in the first six minutes and never looked back. They led by double digits for all but 26 seconds thereafter and their largest lead was the final score.

"One of the coaches told me today that they needed me to come out aggressive," Cassell said. "So I was looking for my shot early and once I came out aggressive, this team has a knack to follow my lead. I had some opportunities to score early as compared to Game One, where I was playing more of a playmaker."

Los Angeles maintained its big lead by going inside to its big men. Brand and Kaman - who was neutralized by the quick pace of Game 1 - led an interior assault that had Phoenix physically intimidated, particularly in the first half.

"I wasn't myself the other day. I wasn't aggressive," Kaman said. "Tonight, we outrebounded them big-time. We stayed on the boards. They had a lot of missed shots and we got putbacks. We pounded it inside, made our shots and did our best to stay in front of them."

Before the break, the Clippers seemed to score on virtually every possession. They held a 36-14 advantage in rebounds - grabbing 15 offensive boards - and a staggering 24-2 edge in second-chance points.

Scoring and boarding almost at will, Brand and Kaman combined for 21 points and 16 rebounds in the first half, helping the Clippers maintain a 65-51 lead.

"We didn't know what to expect," Brand said. "We didn't know we would be that dominant and shut them down like that. A lot of second-chance points, points in the paint. The big men had to step up and we knew we had a shot. We still had to hold them at the perimeter and have them shoot jump shots. Then we would have an advantage at the post."

It was more of the same in the third quarter as Los Angeles made its first five shots and quickly built the lead to 74-54. Even defensive specialist Quinton Ross got in the act with seven of his 11 points in the period.

Meanwhile, Phoenix went the entire middle two quarters without an offensive rebound. Overall, the Suns were manhandled on the glass, 57-26, and outscored, 31-6, in second-chance points.

After winning the last three games of their first-round series against the Lakers and having to rally to win a shootout in the opener against the Clippers, the Suns seemed mentally and physically exhausted.

"I don't think it is any secret. I don't think we had any energy and we didn't give it any effort," Suns coach Mike D'Antoni said. "Second-half points just didn't happen. It is size, obviously. To negate that, to not get killed, we have to have second effort. We just have to be more active in the next game and I will be surprised if we don't."

Brand totaled 27 points and 10 rebounds and Kaman added 14 and 16 for the Clippers, who shot 54 percent (49-of-90). Vladimir Radmanovic added 10 points and nine boards.

"We wanted to show with a big game and let them know that this series was going to be a tough one," Dunleavy said. "The team that loses the first two games loses 94.6 percent of the time, so it was big that we got the win and we knew that. Our energy, aggressive defense was really there tonight. Now we know we can't relax. Our job is to hold court at home now and that will not be an easy task."

Raja Bell scored 20 points and Leandro Barbosa added 18 for the Suns, who shot 46 percent (36-of-79). NBA MVP Steve Nash was quiet with 14 points and eight assists.

"They beat us on energy and hustle," Bell said. "Offensive rebounds and second-chance points speak for themselves. We had an emotional letdown. Not that that is an excuse but they caught us on our heels. We weren't ready to go. We lost the home court but the positive is, we have done it before. We know what it takes to bounce back from that."