The Suns played 3 good quarters of basketball and that was enough to blow out a misfiring Toronto team. The Suns came out of the 1st quarter looking good. They continued their torrid shooting (65%!) streak. Steve Nash countered a weak 1-6 shooting performance by dishing 6 assists to his hot, hot, hot teammates. The Suns also held a slight edge on the boards, outrebounding Toronto 11-9 and "held" the Raptors to 33% shooting. I put that in quotes only because Toronto missed a boatload of open jumpers throughout the game. However, as Phoenix Stan astutely pointed out in the Game Thread, the Suns refused to double Chris Bosh in the post, opting to stay at home on Toronto's dead-eye shooters. Bosh would make them pay in the 2nd quarter.
After watching his team get outrun and out gunned for the first 12 minutes of the game, Bosh came alive in the 2nd. He followed his quiet (3 pts, 0 rebs) opening stanza with a monster second, finishing with the half with 19 points and 6 boards. It was Phoenix's turn to watch their shots go off the mark as the Raps "held" them to 35% shooting. Not helping the Suns' cause was an apparently unengaged Amare Stoudemire. Despite scoring 8 points in 13 first half minutes, Amar'e tallied 0 rebounds and 3 personal fouls (including a flagrant after getting torched by Bosh on a drive to the hoop) which further limited his ability to contribute. Keyed by Bosh's strong play, the Raps erased the Suns 8 point lead to go into the half only down by 1.
The Suns came out hot in the 3rd, going on a 13-2 run 2 minutes into the 2nd half, from which the Raptors essentially never recovered despite making a couple of mini-runs in the 3rd and 4th quarters, with the Suns slamming the door for good with a 15-7 stretch in the 4th to go up by 15 with just over 4 minutes left in the period. And now, the bullet points...
- Credit Amar'e Stoudemire for mentally checking back into the game. After his reboundless first half, STAT hit the boards hard finishing with 7 for the game.
- Steve Nash is just steadily brilliant. When his shot wasn't falling, he found his teammates all over the place. When his team needed a boost in the 3rd, he scores 11 points on 5 shots to help bury the Raps. And for the 5th time this season, Nash finished with more assists (16) than the entire Raptors team (15).
- It's hard to describe how bad the Raptors' shooters were from range, but I think this stat does it pretty well: 26-48 (54% FG) in the paint, 10-44 (23%) from everywhere else. They simply couldn't hit water falling out of a boat.
- After debuting so strongly the other night, Robin Lopez showed he has a ways to go before being the player the Suns hope he can be. In 6:30 of play, RoLo managed 0 points, 0 rebounds, 0 assists, 4 turnovers and 2 personal fouls. Defensively, he got burned badly by Bargnani and Turkoglu on drives to the bucket. Patience is the order of the day with the big fella. Some of it is conditioning and footwork that will be regained with practice and playing time, but some of it is a questionable basketball and body control IQ.
- Wingmen get theirs, too: Grant Hill and Jason Richardson led all Suns with 9 rebounds a piece.
- Jason Richardson continues to be essential to the Suns offense hitting big shot after big shot when the Suns' scoring threatens to stagnate.
- Early in the 4th quarter Leandro Barbosa stuck a 3 pointer but then came down on Hedu Turkoglu's foot and injured his ankle. League pass didn't show the bench shot of his injured ankle, but by all accounts it was huge and gruesome, so we probably won't be seeing LB for a couple of weeks.
- Check back later for more notes. This was a much more interesting game than the 19 point margin would indicate. I'll be re-watching the game and updating the re-cap.
[Note by Phoenix Stan, 11/29/09 8:15 PM MST ]
Post Game Links and Audio
- Suns vs Raptors coverage
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- Suns vs Raptors boxscore
- Raptors HQ
NBA.com - The Game Happens Here
Triano admitted his team was at a loss for how to handle Nash. "We went under [screens], trapped, we tried everything we could," Triano said. "I think for the most part we surprised him on the first possession of each change defensively, they either missed or we got the ball, but the second time he recognizes what you did." Nash = Borg
Phoenix Suns' Amare Stoudemire, Charlotte Bobcats' Tyson Chandler fined for in-game tweets - ESPN
The NBA fined Phoenix Suns forward Amare Stoudemire and Charlotte Bobcats forward Tyson Chandler $7,500 each Sunday for posting to their Twitter accounts during games in violation of league rules.
azcentral.com blogs - Coro's Suns dish - PaulCoro - Barbosa out at least 2 games
Coro's Suns dish: Suns guard Leandro Barbosa will sit out for at least the remainder of this road trip, which continues Tuesday in New York and Wednesday in Cleveland. Barbosa sprained his left ankle in the fourth quarter of Sunday's 113-94 victory at Toronto. Barbosa...
Post game audio provided by our friend Holly MacKenzie from The Score and NBA.com
Raptors Coach Triano