Capitalizing on their victory over Houston Wednesday, the Suns muscle out the Raptors 106-97 to move to 11-9 on the season.
Phoenix really came to play as they played physical and crashed the glass hard, winning the rebounding margin 53-36. This was impressive since Toronto was fourth in the league in offensive rebounding percentage.
The Suns jumped out to a 10-2 lead in the first four minutes, but the lead was neutralized as the game was knotted up at 18 apiece with 4:56 to go in the first quarter. The lead changed back and forth and Phoenix had a slight two-point lead going into the half. By the end of the third quarter, the Suns were up by seven points. The lead ballooned to 15 before some turnover-riddled play by Phoenix gave Toronto an opening to make the game close.
Fortunately, P.J. Tucker grabbed ANOTHER clutch rebound, swiftly passed it off to Eric Bledsoe for the three-pointer, effectively sealing the victory for Phoenix.
One pretty rare event occurred in Friday’s game against the Raptors. For both teams in the same game, a bench player led their respective team in scoring. Markieff Morris for the Suns finished with 25 points, while Amir Johnson tallied 22 points, seven rebounds and three blocks in the loss. Morris, number 11, made his first 11 shots, and pulled down 11 rebounds. Let the crazy coincidences continue… and the alliterations apparently.
Tucker continued with his great play from the last game with his 18 points, 13 rebounds, three assists and a steal. Bledsoe had 16 points, Dragic had 13, while Gerald Green and Marcus Morris both added 10 points off the bench.
For the Raptors, Kyle Lowry put up 21 points, Rudy Gay had 17 points, 10 rebounds, a couple steals and a block. DeMar DeRozan scored 13, while Jonas Valanciunas tallied a double-double with 11 points and 10 boards.
The Suns now are on a two-game winning streak, and now have four days off before they await a Tuesday matchup with their rivals the Los Angeles Lakers, who will have former MVP Kobe Bryant back from injury. Kobe should make his debut against Toronto on Sunday. Both of those games will be in Los Angles at STAPLES Center.