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Brazil's Barbosa Captures NBA Sixth Man Award
    2007-04-24 07:19:11     AFP

Leandro Barbosa of the Phoenix Suns puts a shot up against Sasha Vujacic of the Los Angeles Lakers in Game One of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2007 NBA Playoffs at U.S. Airways Center in Phoenix, Arizona, on Sunday, April 22, 2007. The Suns defeated the Lakers 95-87. Barbosa easily captured the National Basketball Association's Sixth Man Award on Monday. [Photo: AFP/Getty Images/Lisa Blumenfeld]

Phoenix Suns guard Leandro Barbosa easily captured the National Basketball Association's Sixth Man Award on Monday.

The announcement came one day after Brazil's Barbosa scored 15 of his 26 points in a five-minute stretch of the second half to help the Suns rally for a 95-87 home victory over the Los Angeles Lakers in the opener of their Western Conference first-round series.

The performance came after balloting among media members had been tabulated but served as a reminder of what Barbosa had done all season for the Suns, who led the NBA in scoring at 110.2 points per game.

The result spoke volumes of the perception of Barbosa, who received 578 total points and 101 of a possible 127 first-place votes to easily beat San Antonio's Manu Ginobili. He also received 24 second-place votes and one third-place vote from a panel of 127 sportswriters and broadcasters.

Barbosa became the fourth Sun to win the award, joining Eddie Johnson (1989), Danny Manning (1998) and Rodney Rogers (2000).

Barbosa averaged 18.1 points in 80 games this season. In 62 contests as a reserve, he averaged 17.6 points in 30.8 minutes.



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