Suns 106, Raptors 97

Jerry Brown, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

PHOENIX -- Forward Markieff Morris scored 25 points on 11-for-14 shooting from the field and added 11 rebounds off the bench and guard Eric Bledsoe had 19 points as the Phoenix Suns handed the Toronto Raptors their sixth straight loss in a 106-97 win on Friday night.
Forward P.J. Tucker added 17 points and a season-high 13 rebounds and guard Goran Dragic had 14 points for the Suns, who snapped a three-game losing streak to Toronto and have now won six of their first nine home games.
The Suns outrebounded the Raptors 53-36 and Phoenix had 18 offensive rebounds, with Morris and Tucker each grabbing six.
Amir Johnson scored a season-high 22 points off the bench and guard Kyle Lowry added 21 points and seven assists for the Raptors, playing in their first game since blowing a 27-point lead in the second half at home to the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday night.
This time, the Raptors lost both a game and forward Tyler Hansbrough, who suffered an AC sprain to his left shoulder 2:34 into the first quarter.
Raptors forward Rudy Gay had 17 points but was limited to 32 minutes because of first-half foul trouble.
Down by 15 points with less than five minutes left, the Raptors cut Phoenix lead to 97-91 on a Johnson layup with 2:42 left. But Johnson missed a 3-pointer and Tucker kept Phoenix's next possession alive with an offensive rebound, feeding Bledsoe for a 3-pointer to restore the Suns' lead to nine.
Hansbrough suffered his injury in a collision with Phoenix forward Channing Frye and headed to the dressing room in obvious pain. Down 10-2 at the time, Toronto rallied immediately with a 12-4 run to tie the score and took their first lead at 20-18 on a Johnson 19-foot jumper with 4:33 left. Johnson led the Raptors with seven points in the quarter.
The Suns kept pace in a 27-27 quarter thanks to 11 points off the bench from Morris.
Gay came back to start the second quarter and had nine points in the first 6:30, including a 3-pointer and a pull-up jumper during a 7-0 run that gave the Raptors a 43-36 lead with 5:30 left. But Gay picked up his third foul with 3:28 left and the Suns immediately counterpunched with a 10-2 run before taking a 52-50 lead to the half.
Tucker had seven of Phoenix's first eight points of the third quarter, including two 3-pointers, and the Suns built their lead to a game-high 13 points at 76-63 on a Bledsoe free throw with 1:51 left.
But Lowry had seven points down the stretch in the quarter and fed center Jonas Valanciunas for 4-footer with less than a second left to pull the Raptors to 81-74 after three quarters.
Valanciunas finished with 11 points and 10 rebounds for Toronto.
NOTES: The game featured a unique contrast in styles, with the Suns leading the NBA in fast-break points (20.0 per game) and the Raptors leading the league in second-chance points (17.7 points). "It puts you in a quandary when you do crash the boards, which is something we do well," Toronto coach Dwane Casey said before the game. "We don't want to get burned with a 3-pointer by going to the offensive boards and with one of our perimeter guys." ... Injuries have forced Suns G Goran Dragic to either miss or leave games early seven times in the first 19 games. In the other 12, Dragic is averaging 20 points and eight assists. Only Golden State G Stephen Curry (22.6 points, 8.8 assists) is better. ... Toronto had won three straight games against Phoenix coming into Friday, the Raptors' longest winning streak in the 14-year rivalry. Last year, the Raptors swept the Suns for the third time ever. The Suns have swept Toronto 10 times.

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