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Barbosa, Suns


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TORONTO, March 31 (Ticker) -- The Phoenix Suns seem to enjoy playing in high-scoring games.


Leandro Barbosa 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.


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 nine assists.


Shawn Marion 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 the paint.


"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 said.


"Every time we scored they would just bring it back quickly and end up with an easy basket," Peterson added.


Tim Thomas 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 points.


"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 up."


Toronto's starting backcourt of Peterson and Mike James, who 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.


Andre Barrett scored a career-high 15 points off the bench and Pape Sow 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.


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