Raptors try to avoid third-straight loss vs. Suns on TSN
With the group stage of the NBA In-Season Tournament in their rear-view mirror, the Toronto Raptors head home and look to avoid a third straight loss as they host Devin Booker and the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday night.
The Raptors dropped to 8-10 on the season despite having six players score in double figures. Pascal Siakam (17 points, 10 rebounds) and Scottie Barnes (17 points, 11 rebounds, six assists) each contributed a double-double in the loss, while Gary Trent Jr. finished with 15 points off the bench.
“I thought in the first half Scottie was settling quite a bit,” Raptors head coach Darko Rajakovic said, when asked about Barnes’ slow start to the game. "He was taking some mid-range shots. We talked about it at halftime. He played a completely different game in the second half. So much more force.”
The Raptors will need to make a quick turnaround to host a Suns team that has won seven straight games. Phoenix has averaged over 124.7 points during the win streak, the third highest mark in the league in that span and also lead the league in field goal percentage (51.4) over that time.
On the other hand, Toronto has struggled offensively during its two-game slide, averaging just 102.5 points per game with no player scoring 20 points in either game.
Superstar Kevin Durant missed the Suns 116-113 over the New York Knicks on Sunday, his second straight absence due to a sore right foot. He warmed up prior to the game and was ruled out just prior to tip-off. He is questionable for tonight’s game.
Booker picked up the slack without Durant and Bradley Beal (back) in the lineup, finishing with 28 points, including the game-winning three-pointer with 1.7 seconds remaining. He also contributed 11 assists as the Suns extended their road win streak to six. Through nine games this season, Booker is averaging a career-high 29.4 points and 8.9 assists, while shooting nearly 50 per cent from the field.
The Raptors and Suns split the season series last season, with each team taking one game at home.