The game time temperature in Toronto was below freezing tonight... and almost as cold as the Suns’ shooting.
It’s hard to dig a hole in frozen tundra but the Suns found a way to dig themselves a very deep one during the first half. They made an admirable effort in the second half though and cut a once 26 point Raptors’ lead down to 6 points in the 4th quarter but couldn’t fight their way any further back due mostly to poor three point shooting.
The Suns were 6 of 34 from three tonight (17.6%) while the Raptors were 17 of 37 (37.8%). They were also out shot from the field 52.5% to 41.3%. Toronto also blocked 13 shots tonight, at least 4 of them three point attempts by the Suns, and out rebounded the Suns 48 to 34.
Devin Booker lead the Suns with 21 points and 8 assists. Deandre Ayton had 17 points (only 2 in the first half) and 10 rebounds while Ricky Rubio had 13 points and 9 assists. Pascal Siakam lead Toronto with 37 points, 12 rebounds and 3 blocks.
The return of several players from the injured list did help the Suns’ bench out score the Raptor’s bench 31-27 tonight and the bench played a big part in the Suns’ comeback attempt in the 3rd and 4th quarters.
Suns win the tip but several miscues and turnovers by both teams open the game.
The Raptors finally score the first points of the game from the free throw line at 10:31. Oubre finally put the Suns on the board with a slam but there were lots of misses early on! 4-4 tie game at 9:06.
Both teams look rusty tonight. Suns up 8-4 after 4 minutes of play. Everyone looks to finally be warming up as the Suns call time with a 10-9 lead at 6:59.
Ellie Okobo is in early for Rubio. An errant pass and the Raps take an 11-10 lead. There have been many turnovers for both teams so far.
Baynes and Saric come in after Toronto takes a 17-14 lead.
I swear they just triple-teamed Booker. Raps have a 22-16 lead after Baynes gets a two. Raps up 24-16 with 2:48 to go in the first. The Suns are not looking sharp on offense tonight.
Oubre out, Johnson in. Booker is the only Suns’ starter still on the court. Raptors now up 26-16. Saric with a long three! Booker, Baynes and Okobo out, Ayton, Carter and Rubio in. Saric hits two FTs and the Raps lead is cut to 26-21.
Cam hits a two but the Raps return the favor on a fast break.
Siakam hits a three and the quarter ends with the Suns behind, 31-23.
The Suns shot only 34.6% from the field and 11.1% from three. The have to do better or it’s going to be a long night.
Terrible start for the Suns as the Raps stretch their lead to 39-25 in the first minute and a half of the 2nd and force an early timeout.
Raptors are 5 of 11 on threes, Suns are 1 of 11.
43-25 Raps following another Suns turnover. The Raptors length is definitely bothering the Suns tonight. They already have several blocks.
Booker returns for Johnson. Suns have got to generate some offense.
Book with a three... but the Raptors lead is 49-32 with 7 minutes to play in the half. More substitutions for the Suns as they’re searching for someone who can get them some buckets.
Book with the and-1. They get a defensive stop on the other end but then turn it over again. Raptors lead 51-35.
Toronto is hot from three tonight. 57-39 Raptors lead. Ayton has not gotten involved in the offense yet. Only 2 points so far with 3 minutes left to play.
Raptors lead 65-41 with 2:19 left in the half. This has gotten ugly... very, very ugly.
The Raptors have now blocked 4 three point shot attempts by the Suns.
The half ends with the Suns down 67-43.
At the Half
The Suns’ shooting was horrible in the first half. 35.3% from the field and 10.5% from three. The Raptors shot 53.2% and 39.1% respectively. The Suns are also getting killed on the boards 27-19.
Devin Booker leads the Suns in scoring with 12 points and is the only Suns in double figures. Siakam leads the Raps with 25 points.
The Suns’ bench has actually out scored the Raps’ bench 13-11. The only bright spot for the Suns so far.
The Suns come out fighting and score the first 5 points of the quarter. The Raps aren’t impressed by it though and fight back. They lead 73-53 at 9:15.
Ayton is finally getting some buckets but his twos won’t make up any ground on the Raptors’ threes if they keep up their hot shooting.
Suns showing a little life and cut Toronto’s lead to 75-61.
Ibaka gets his 5th foul which could be a good omen for the Suns. Nick Nurse is HOT and get’s T’ed up. Book hits the tech and the score is 75-62 Raptors lead. The Suns were once down by 26 points, now down by 13.
Ayton misses two free throws... sigh.
The Raps are out rebounding the Suns 31-21.
Several subs in for the Suns with the Raps up 77-64. The Suns are cold as hell from three. The Raptors have edged their lead up to 82-65 following several Suns misses. The Suns are in the bonus with 4:35 left but Toronto’s hot shooting from three continues. 93-68 Raps lead.
The Suns have all of their starters on the bench now with 2:14 left in the quarter. Has Monty already decided to throw in the towel?
The Suns’ bench just made a 10-0 run and the quarter ends with Toronto up 93-78.
The Suns’ bench plus Ayton starts the 4th. 93-80.
Carter hits a corner 3 and it’s 93-83. The Suns get a stop but an offensive foul on Ayton on the other end.
The Suns have cut the Raps’ lead to 9... and Toronto turns it over! Suns do the same though and the Raps get the ball back. But the Raps give it back, DA scores and it’s down to a 95-88 Raptors lead... and most of the Suns’ starters are still on the bench.
Ayton with a shot clock buzzer beating jumper and the score is now 96-90. 7:58 left to play. Most of the Suns’ starters are back in.
The Raptors fight back and take a 102-90 lead. Suns call time with 6:58 left to play. I can’t believe I’m saying this but perhaps Monty should have left the bench players in.
DA now has 17 points. Rubio scores and it’s 102-95. Raps foul and it’s Suns’ ball again. 5:13 left to play.
The Suns just need to stop shooting threes and go for twos. Raps back up 107-95 after Suns misses.
Raps with a 111-97 lead with 2:44 to play.
The Suns are still playing hard but just not hitting enough of their shots... especially from downtown. Raptors up 118-101 with 1:28 to go.
The Suns have cleared their bench.
This game is over.
Suns lose 118-101.