03 Nov 2018, 11:00 IST
PHOENIX (AP) — The Toronto Raptors weren’t at their finest, however ok to drag away from the Phoenix Suns for one more victory in one of the best begin to a season within the Canadian franchise’s historical past.
Kawhi Leonard scored 19 factors and the Raptors used a 14-2 fourth-quarter run to lastly put away the pesky Phoenix Suns 107-98 on Friday evening.
Jonas Valanciunas added 16 factors and Serge Ibaka 14 for the Raptors, who improved to 8-1, one of the best nine-game begin in franchise historical past. Kyle Lowry had 11 factors and 12 assists.
“It’s a 48 minute sport and I believe we’re enjoying fairly good basketball for about 28 minutes proper now,” Raptors coach Nick Nurse mentioned. “We obtained to stretch that. I do not suppose we are going to ever get to 48 minutes, however we wish to get within the 40s most likely after the brand new 12 months.”
Deandre Ayton, the No. 1 total choose within the draft, had 17 factors and 18 rebounds for the Suns, losers of seven in a row since successful their season opener. Isaiah Canaan scored 19 and Devin Booker 18 for Phoenix. Booker returned after lacking three video games with a strained hamstring.
Phoenix trailed by solely 4 early within the fourth quarter earlier than Toronto’s decisive 14-2 surge.
“Effectively, our effort was higher,” Suns first-year coach Igor Kokoskov mentioned. “Having e book and Canaan again, I imply that helps rather a lot. We have now to maintain enjoying a bodily, sturdy staff like Toronto. We have now to maintain and play 48 minutes. We had a stretch within the fourth quarter that we could not deal with the physicality, their size, their dimension. … And we had been simply drained.”
The Suns led many of the first half however by no means by greater than seven factors.
Phoenix was up 52-48 on the break, with Canaan scoring 12 factors and Ayton including 10 factors and 10 rebounds.
The Raptors opened the third quarter with a 13-2 run. Leonard’s three-point play on a drive to the ring put Toronto up 56-54 and Danny Inexperienced’s 3-pointer from the nook made it 61-54. Phoenix, although, scored the subsequent seven, tying it at 61-61 on Booker’s 18-footer.
Regardless of lacking 4 free throws throughout that stretch, the Raptors responded with a 13-Three run to guide 74-64 after Fred VanVleet’s 3-pointer with 2:04 left within the third quarter. Josh Jackson’s Three on the third-quarter buzzer minimize Toronto’s result in 77-71 coming into the fourth.
Jackson’s jumper to begin the fourth quarter minimize it to35 77-73 however the Raptors lastly took management for good.
VanVleet sank a 3-pointer, adopted by a steal and layup and Norman Powell sank a Three to complete a 14-2 outburst that put the Raptors up 91-75 with 8:35 remaining.
Toronto stretched it to 99-81 on Valanciunas’ layup. Phoenix outscored the Raptors 17-Eight the remainder of the way in which.
“We wish to be an aggressive, protection staff, get fingers on some balls, deflect, get out and transition, get out and get some 3s and layups,” mentioned Leonard, who jammed his left foot late within the fourth quarter however later mentioned he was OK. “We did a great job for about six or seven possessions in a row.”
Raptors: Toronto began the season 7-2 in 2014 and in 2016. … Toronto opened a four-game highway journey by way of the West … Inexperienced left after taking a shot to the top within the third quarter. … Raptors have three straight wins over Phoenix, matching longest streak in franchise historical past.
Suns: Suns misplaced their earlier six video games this season by 28, 20, 18, 21, 7 and 30. … Phoenix has three video games left on a five-game house stand. … On this date in 1990, Phoenix defeated Utah in Tokyo in first NBA regular-season sport exterior North America. Tom Chambers scored 38 for the Suns, Karl Malone 33 for the Jazz. … Phoenix led at halftime for under the second time this season.
Raptors: On the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday evening.
Suns: Host the Memphis Grizzles on Sunday evening.
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