Suns sweep season series with Raptors for fourth straight year

PHOENIX (AP) -- The Toronto Raptors were a one-man show. That wasn't near enough with the Phoenix Suns revved up and running.

The Suns raced past Toronto 122-103 on Saturday night despite Bosh's career-high 42 points.

Leandro Barbosa, starting in place of injured Raja Bell, scored 31 points, Amare Stoudemire added 28 and Grant Hill 25 as Phoenix swept the season series from Toronto for the fourth consecutive season.

"That's our game," Stoudemire said. "We've got players that can score easily. Tonight we showed a great supply of getting guys involved."

The Suns are 8-0 against the Raptors since Steve Nash came to Phoenix in 2004. Nash had 16 assists with no turnovers.

"I thought the third quarter was great. We had a five-point lead turn into a 20-point lead with a really good effort. It was a good performance."

Phoenix did not double-team Bosh.

"We wanted just to let him go one-on one," coach Mike D'Antoni said. "It's when you let the other guys go crazy from the '3' that they're really dangerous."

Bosh made 22 of 24 free throws, both career bests. His 22 makes are the most from the line in the league this season.

"The free-throw line is my friend," Bosh said, "so I just always try to be aggressive, always try to attack the basket and get those easy points."

Phoenix reached 19 wins before Christmas for the third time in franchise history. The Suns were loose despite losing three of five going into the game.

"We try to play without a conscience and try to play hard," D'Antoni said. "This year it's been a little more difficult in nitpicking little things, and I think sometimes we get guys hesitating. We don't want to do that."

The Suns won at Toronto 136-123 on Dec. 5, in the highest-scoring NBA game this season. This one was on a similar pace until the fourth quarter.

Phoenix used a 20-6 run in the third quarter to open a 98-79 when Nash grabbed an offensive rebound, the whipped a behind-the-back pass to Barbosa, who made the 3-pointer.

Barbosa didn't even attempt a 3-pointer in the Suns' loss at Dallas on Thursday night.

"He's a terrific scorer and a terrific basketball player," D'Antoni said. "He's back on track."

Stoudemire had 24 points, Hill and Barbosa 23 apiece in the first three quarters as Phoenix blew open a 103-83 lead entering the fourth.

"The offensive rebounds in the third quarter just killed us," Toronto coach Sam Mitchell said. "We had the lead cut down to five and were playing pretty good considering all the mistakes we had made, but they're a good basketball team."

Marcus Banks started the final quarter with a 3-pointer to put the Suns up 106-83. The Raptors got no closer than 13 after that.

Bosh's previous career best was 41, set against Orlando last Feb. 7 and tied against Cleveland on Nov. 24.

The Suns improved to 6-0 when Barbosa has started this season. Bell sat out the game with back spasms. The Suns, plagued by slow starts in recent games, outscored the Raptors 20-11 to go up 34-22 with 1 1/2 minutes left in the first quarter.

Toronto used an 11-4 spurt to cut it to 44-43 on Bosh's two free throws with 6:53 left in the half. Barbosa responded with a 3-pointer, but moments later Toronto sliced it to 55-53 when Bosh made a turnaround 10-footer.

Barbosa, who scored 15 in the second quarter, made a driving layup in a 7-0 run that gave the Suns a 62-53 lead 2:10 before the half. Phoenix led 66-61 at the break.

Bosh scored 22 in the first half, including 10-of-11 free throws. Barbosa made 6-of-7 shots in the second quarter.

Game notes
Banks played for the first time in eight games and only the second time in the team's last 13. ... Rasho Nesterovic didn't play for the Raptors by the coach's decision. ... Entering the game, Phoenix had played the fewest home games in the NBA (10). The Suns play the Lakers in Los Angeles on Christmas Day. ... The Raptors will go home for Christmas, then resume their road play Friday at San Antonio.