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Quick Reaction: Suns 115, Raptors 103

Phoenix rises late to hand Toronto their third straight loss

Phoenix 115 Final
Box Score
103 Toronto

B+
D. Carroll32 MIN, 14 PTS, 4 REB, 0 AST, 4-12 FG, 2-5 3FG, 4-4 FT, 1 BLK, 2 TO, 0 +/-Knocked down a couple of threes and showed offensive life with 14 points, which is always an encouraging sign from Carroll. The compete level on D was there for the most part as well, but a couple of missed jumpers and bunnies under the basket led to an overall mediocre shooting performance.

B+
L. Nogueira35 MIN, 13 PTS, 5 REB, 1 AST, 5-5 FG, 1-1 3FG, 2-2 FT, 2 BLK, 1 TO, -9 +/-Played an energetic first half feeding off great cuts to the basket, and even dropping a 3-pointer to the crowd’s delight (he was perfect from the field). I loved his compete leve on the offensive end. The 5 fouls tonight obviously wasn’t good, but the Raptors also need more rebounding from the 5 spot – 5 boards in 35 minutes isn’t going to cut it.

A
J. Valanciunas31 MIN, 16 PTS, 12 REB, 2 AST, 6-10 FG, 0-0 3FG, 4-5 FT, 3 BLK, 1 TO, -1 +/-JV showed flashes of beast-mode once again against the relatively thin Phoenix Suns front court, anchored by Tyson Chandler and Marquees Chriss. He racked up a double-double by halftime, and showed no hesitation in his offensive moves, which was impressive. Aside from a few missed bunnies, JV was a machine all night long.

B-
K. Lowry37 MIN, 15 PTS, 4 REB, 6 AST, 5-17 FG, 1-9 3FG, 4-5 FT, 0 BLK, 2 TO, -8 +/-Was ice cold for pretty much the entire night, even going a surprising 1-9 from deep. He showed some grit on the defensive end being his usual self (took a huge charge at the 7 minute mark in the fourth quarter), and also dished out 6 assists, but a late technical foul, and a flagrant thereafter were signs that Lowry was about as frustrated as he’s been all season.

B
D. DeRozan37 MIN, 22 PTS, 3 REB, 4 AST, 6-17 FG, 0-1 3FG, 10-11 FT, 1 BLK, 2 TO, -11 +/-Was one of the Raptors’ only consistent offensive options early on and throughout the night. But DeMar still took some questionable shots though against the tough defense of T.J. Warren and P.J. Tucker. A late tweak of his ankle in the fourth quarter made life extra tough for the All-star starter, who’s health has to remain the Raptors’ top concern.

C+
C. Joseph25 MIN, 3 PTS, 2 REB, 3 AST, 1-5 FG, 0-1 3FG, 1-2 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, -14 +/-Not an impactful night by Cory’s standards; aside from one nifty drive to the hoop, Joseph was cold from the field, and was 1 of 5 overall. The Raptors can sure use an aggressive Cory Joseph, and Casey has to trust in his ability, but on nights like this, it can be hard to watch.

C
T. Ross25 MIN, 7 PTS, 2 REB, 2 AST, 2-9 FG, 1-6 3FG, 2-2 FT, 1 BLK, 0 TO, -9 +/-Just looking at the box score, seeing a 1/6 from 3 for T. Ross means he probably didn’t have a good game – and that’s exactly what happened. While most of this shots were in rhythm they just weren’t falling. And for the Raptors, whose offense seems to have come back down to earth at least a bit, T. Ross’ performances will prove to be critical.

B+
J. Sullinger12 MIN, 9 PTS, 3 REB, 0 AST, 3-6 FG, 1-2 3FG, 2-2 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -4 +/-Hit a three pointer and had a couple of garbage buckets underneath; but overall he still seems to be tad slow, and doesn’t seem to have his legs underneath him on jumpers. The rebounding and defensive effort seemed to be there, but it’s hard to judge Sullinger’s true value to the team right now. I’d give it at least 10 games.

B+
N. Powell6 MIN, 4 PTS, 0 REB, 1 AST, 1-2 FG, 1-2 3FG, 1-2 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -4 +/-Not much from Powell tonight in just 6 minutes of action.

B-
Dwane Casey The defense of the Raptors seemed to disappear down the stretch, as there was simply no game plan to defend the point of attack. The Raptors couldn’t seem to get out on Booker’s shooting, or adjust to Eric Bledsoe late on his line drives to the hoop. I like the idea of bringing Sully in the rotation full swing, but borrowing minutes from Siakam or going to Powell earlier may have been something worth exploring.

THINGS WE SAW

  1. Defensive effort (or lack thereof): The Raptors defense once again let them down, giving up 115 points (33 in the fourth) on 51% shooting to a Phoenix team that’s coming off a hard-fought win on a back-to-back, and ranked 22nd in the league in offensive efficiency; all of this included getting outrebounded 45 to 35. For the second place Toronto Raptors playing a significantly weaker team at home, that’s just pathetic.
  2. Getting to the line: On one bright note, the Raptors attempted 30 free throws, and hit 86% of them. That made up slightly for the field goal differential (Phoenix shot 51% with 9 3s, while the Raptors shot 40% with 6 3s), but in the end, it wasn’t exactly enough.
  3. Ay Bebe: After sitting out the past two contests undergoing concussion protocol, Bebe phased himself back into the Raptors offense quite easily, capitalizing inside on easy buckets, and hitting a three pointer for good measure. If you can get 10+ points from Bebe regularly, it relieves a lot of pressure on JV, Kyle and DeMar, and it makes the Raptors a more dynamic team. I like the signs he showed on the offensive end today.
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