NBA Game Summary - New Orleans/Oklahoma City at Phoenix
(Monday, April 17th)
Final Score: Phoenix 115, New Orleans/Oklahoma City 78
Phoenix, AZ (Sports Network) - Leandro Barbosa led a balanced attack with 21 points as Phoenix blitzed New Orleans/Oklahoma City, 115-78, at US Airways Center.
"We played well tonight," said Phoenix coach Mike D'Antoni. "Everyone is moving the ball really well and when we play the way we did tonight we are going to have a good game. We did what we needed to do."
James Jones added 20 points, 10 rebounds and five assists for the Suns, who are entrenched as the Western Conference's No. 2 seed for the upcoming playoffs and snapped a two-game skid. Raja Bell chipped in with 19 points while Eddie House had 15 in the win.
"It was one of those nights," Bell said. "We were able to get out on transition and the ball movement was incredible so everyone got wide open looks."
The NBA's reigning MVP, Steve Nash, returned to the Suns lineup after missing the team's previous two games with a right thigh contusion. Nash tallied 12 points and six assists in the game.
Chris Paul and Marc Jackson paced the Hornets, who have lost three straight and five of their last six games overall, with 11 points apiece. Desmond Mason and Earl Smith were the only other Hornets players in double figures with 10 points each.
"You can't give them open looks," said Hornets head coach Byron Scott. "And if you do, they are going to burn you."
After taking a substantial lead by intermission, the Suns dominated the second half and ran away with the game.
Barbosa's three, with just over seven minutes to go in the third quarter, gave Phoenix its first 20-point lead of the game, 68-48.
A little over three minutes later, Jones' jumper made it a 30-point affair, 81-50.
The Suns ended the quarter with a 87-64 lead.
The Hornets failed to make a run in the final frame. Phoenix scored 14 of the first 20 points of the quarter to get the cushion back over 30, 101-70. Bell's triple with a little under six minutes left capped the flurry.
Another Bell bomb followed by a pair of Nikoloz Tskitishvili free throws gave the Suns their largest lead of the night, 109-72, as Phoenix cruised towards the finish line.
The Suns jumped out to a 25-20 advantage after the first 12 minutes of action. Phoenix took control of the contest with an excellent second quarter and took a 14-point edge, 54-40, into the locker room.
Phoenix finished the home part of its schedule 31-10...New Orleans/Oklahoma City is 14-26 on the road this season...The Suns played without All-Star forward Shawn Marion while Boris Diaw toiled for just three minutes as Phoenix tried to give some of its key players some rest. Marion has a sprained right wrist but will be okay for the playoffs...The Suns visit the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday in the finale of their regular season...The Hornets wrap up the campaign on Wednesday against the Lakers at the Staples Center...Bell was awarded the Suns' Dan Majerle award for the Phoenix player that hustles the most...The Suns had a season high 20 three-pointers in the game...Phoenix is now 58-0 in team history when they hold an opponent under 80 points.
04/18 01:07:16 ET