The streak is over. And worse yet, Devin Booker was dinged up pretty hard.
The Phoenix Suns ended their three-game road trip with a loss at the hands of the Toronto Raptors, losing 112-105. It was a poor shooting night from Phoenix as, despite having quality looks at the rim all night long, could not get the shots to fall. They shot 40.4% from the field and 26.9% from deep.
But it was a tweaked ankle that we all are interested in.
Devin Booker limped to the bench tonight after appearing to roll his ankle in Toronto. pic.twitter.com/IfEcD1fV3a— Mark McClune (@MarkMcClune) November 30, 2023
Booker played through an ankle tweak, but it clearly affected him. He was having a poor shooting night prior to the injury but ended 2-of-12 from the field for 8 points and 5 assists. Kevin Durant returned to the lineup, but he too had an off-shooting night, going 11-of-30 for his 30 points. He went 2-of-8 from deep.
The Raptors clearly out-hustled Phoenix and ended with six players in double figures, led by the 23 points from Scottie Barnes. They outscored Phoenix 60-48 in the paint and had 20 fast break points to the Suns’ 12. Not bad for a team on the second night of a back-to-back.
Jusuf Nurkic had a solid performance with his 19 points and 14 boards, but his assistance wasn't enough to help overcome a poor night overall by Phoenix.
We now hope and wait for good news on Booker and his right ankle.
We were wondering whether or not KD and Grayson Allen would be back for the Phoenix Suns. We wondered no more, as Durant’s absence would only last two games.
Kevin Durant (foot) IN.— Duane Rankin (@DuaneRankin) November 29, 2023
Grayson Allen (illness) OUT. #Suns
Grayson Allen, who also missed the game against the New York Knicks with illness, remained sidelined. Josh Okogie started in his place. Nassir Little was out as well, seeing as he welcomed a new baby into the world yesterday.
The Toronto Raptors are a team that possesses athleticism and length, and they used both of those to their advantage early in this one. Pascal Siakam scored seven early points, leading Toronto on a 14 to 4 run and an early lead for the Raptors. Deflections, steals, and uncharacteristic successful three-point shooting from the Raptors were present early. They scored 5 points off of three Suns’ turnovers in the first.
The team that had played a night ago did not appear to be tired following their loss to the Brooklyn Nets.
The reigning Western Conference Player of the Week, Devin Booker, had a cold start as he went 0-of-4 from the field in his first rotation to open the first quarter. Phoenix found themselves open but the shots weren’t falling.
The Raptors were focused on getting out and running, very similar to how the San Antonio Spurs played against Phoenix a few weeks back. They had 9 fast break points of their 27 in the first and carried a 27-20 lead into the second.
Scottie Barnes with the nice euro and two-hand dunk pic.twitter.com/2udJs9XAtF— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPoints) November 30, 2023
A 15-3 scoring run during the second quarter pushed Phoenix back into contention as Devin Booker scored his first point midway through the second.
Phoenix continued to look like a team that just was a tad bit off throughout the first half. Credit to the Raptors, they took advantage of the poor, shooting and rebuilt their lead as the second quarter continued.
36 points through one and a half quarters. Not very “Sunsy”.
Booker and Durant combined 4-of-14 from the field for 13 points.— Duane Rankin (@DuaneRankin) November 30, 2023
Rest of #Suns: 8-of-20 FGs.
Phoenix down eight, 44-36, with 5:09 left in 1st half.
Toronto continued to attack, but in transition and in the half-court. They had 32 points in the paint. On the defensive end, their length created problems for Devin Booker. He appeared discombobulated with their constant pressure and active hands. He finished the first half with 8 points on 1-of-8 shooting.
Raptors up 60-53 at the half.
Booker came down on his right ankle in an awkward position early in the third quarter, landing on a Raptors’ foot, and it was clear he was in pain and upset about the injury.
He exited and went to the locker room.
The Suns responded with a 7-0 run, narrowing the Raptors’ lead to one point, and as Devin Booker gingerly limped to the scorer’s table to check back in, Phoenix took the lead.
The Raptors kept hustling and playing with tenacious energy, and their willingness to be active kept them in the game and in the lead. In one sequence the Suns were out-hustled on the boards, giving up numerous offensive rebounds.
Defense leads to offense, and Toronto embodied this all night.
Durant, much akin to Booker, struggled from the field. Through three quarters they combined for 8-of-30 from the field.
After three, Raptors up 86-80.
By the start of the fourth quarter, Toronto had five players in double figures. It was a personification of the team style basketball that they were playing, utilizing movement, cutting, and energy to outhustle Phoenix.
Their lead ballooned to 11 points early in the fourth after Precious Achiuwa, a 23.8 3PT% shooter, knocked down a three.
KD responded with a personal 7-0 run.
Devin Booker served primarily as a decoy in the fourth quarter as he was clearly hampered by the ankle that he twisted earlier in the game. Durant was forced to be the offense for the majority of the quarter.
Every time the Suns would force a miss, however, it felt as if the Raptors would gain an offensive rebound and score. If the Suns would get the game to within two points, the Raptors would hit a three-pointer.
Phoenix had a chance to tie late, down 108-105, but a missed three-ball from Devin Booker sealed Phoenix’s fate.
It’s a big one on Friday as the Denver Nuggets come to town. We’ll see you then, Bright Siders!