Quick Reaction: Suns 104, Raptors 113

The Raptors close out the year with a well needed win.

Box Score
O. Anunoby30 MIN, 16 PTS, 5 REB, 4 AST, 2 STL, 6-10 FG, 2-5 3FG, 2-2 FT, 0 BLK, 3 TO, 14 +/-

After criticizing his own lack of intensity against Memphis, OG came out of the gate aggressive on both ends of the floor. That aggressiveness did leave him with four fouls before halftime, but he was incredibly effective and crucial in his time on the floor.

P. Siakam41 MIN, 26 PTS, 2 REB, 6 AST, 0 STL, 8-17 FG, 2-5 3FG, 8-10 FT, 0 BLK, 2 TO, 20 +/-

Siakam’s incredible run of form continued tonight. With no Fred, Siakam was guaranteed the lion’s share of defensive attention, and it still didn’t matter. When he’s focused as a playmaker on top of his isolation scoring, it elevates the level of the Raptor’s offense by a significant margin.

C. Koloko21 MIN, 8 PTS, 4 REB, 0 AST, 1 STL, 3-3 FG, 1-1 3FG, 1-2 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 22 +/-

It hasn’t always been perfect for the rookie this season, but he played his tail off tonight, and hit one hell of a three-pointer in the fourth quarter. It’s nice to see the hard work payoff.

G. Trent Jr.39 MIN, 35 PTS, 5 REB, 2 AST, 3 STL, 11-22 FG, 4-11 3FG, 9-9 FT, 1 BLK, 2 TO, 18 +/-

Something about the Phoenix Suns awakens demon mode in Gary Trent Jr. There’s just not much you can do when he gets into a rhythm like this.

S. Barnes38 MIN, 11 PTS, 5 REB, 3 AST, 3 STL, 4-12 FG, 1-4 3FG, 2-2 FT, 1 BLK, 1 TO, 14 +/-

Scottie was quiet offensively in the first half, but it might have something to do with how much he was asked to do defensively. He played a crucial role in slowing down Ayton, and still found himself trying to close out on Bridges and pressuring CP3 in the halfcourt. After halftime, he had much more success on the offensive end as well.

T. Young24 MIN, 8 PTS, 4 REB, 2 AST, 4 STL, 4-7 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-1 FT, 0 BLK, 2 TO, -15 +/-

Tonight was perhaps Thad’s best game as a Raptor. He was a force in so many facets; disrupting passing lanes, attacking the offensive glass, cutting and passing through Phoenix’s zone. It’s this kind of performance that reinforces why the Raptors’ front office viewed Young as a piece worth trading for.

C. Boucher20 MIN, 7 PTS, 2 REB, 0 AST, 1 STL, 3-5 FG, 1-3 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -20 +/-

Boucher didn’t play much tonight, and then almost played the entire fourth quarter. He and Thad were forces on the offensive glass and it’s always a good sign to see the big-man hitting three’s.

M. Flynn18 MIN, 0 PTS, 3 REB, 2 AST, 0 STL, 0-4 FG, 0-4 3FG, 0-0 FT, 1 BLK, 2 TO, -7 +/-

The shot wasn’t falling for Flynn tonight, but he still found ways to contribute, in particular, fighting for defensive rebounds and keeping some sense of flow in the halfcourt.

J. Hernangomez05 MIN, 0 PTS, 1 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 0-0 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 2 +/-


J. Dowtin Jr.04 MIN, 2 PTS, 0 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL, 1-1 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -3 +/-

He didn’t play for too long, but Dowtin’s 4th quarter stint was something to behold. He made a great pass off a drive for an easy bucket and then stole the ball and finished at the other end on the next play. Not sure you could ask for much more in what turned out to be a very competitive fourth quarter.

Nick Nurse

He leaned hard on the starting rotation tonight, but what else is new. The Raptors desperately needed a win and they got one tonight. That’s enough for me.

Things We Saw

  1. So much of the conversation surrounding the Raptors recent performances have been regarding the defense. There was a notable change in effort from the team today. Whether it’s sustainable at this point, who knows, but it was a sight for sore eyes that’s for certain.
  2. The Suns size allowed them to win the rebounding battle, but the Raptors forced a whopping 25 turnovers out of the suns tonight. According to NBA.com, the Suns rank 4th in the least turnovers per game with 13.5.

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