Telfair makes point to ex-team in Raptor rout of Suns

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

PHOENIX -- Sebastian Telfair has been waiting to show his new team what they have -- and even more eager to show his old one what they gave up.
The opportunity to do both presented itself Wednesday, and the new Toronto guard produced 13 points and seven assists in 26 minutes against his old Phoenix teammates as the Raptors snapped a five-game losing streak and embarrassed the Suns in a 98-71 rout at US Airways Arena.
Since being shipped to Canada two weeks ago at the trade deadline, Telfair had played all of seven minutes in his first six games with Toronto. But after making it known that he was still upset about the deal and losing his job to rookie Kendall Marshall, Telfair was given time to make his point by Raptors coach Dwayne Casey and he made the most of it.
Telfair had 10 points and four assists in the first half -- much of it against Marshall -- and helped Toronto to a 14-point halftime lead.
Telfair said he wanted to prove to the Suns that they made a mistake by dealing him for a second-round pick and center Hamed Haddadi -- to make room for Marshall to play behind starter Goran Dragic.
"Any time your spot gets taken or given away you have to come out and show that you are a player," Telfair said. "I loved playing in Phoenix. I loved the city and the fans. I learned a lot here and grew as a person. I had leave my kids here in school ... it's personal."
DeMar DeRozan led six Raptors in double figures with 15 points while Amir Johnson had 14.
The Suns committed a season-high 29 turnovers, shot 38 percent from the field and didn't have a double-figure scorer until Marcus Morris hit a 3-pointer with 23 seconds left in the game.
It was the second time in a month, Phoenix flirted with the 32-year-old franchise record for fewest points in a game (68). The same Morris 3-pointer allowed Phoenix to side-step that embarrassment.
"I do not see one bright spot to take from that game other than it's over," Phoenix interim coach Lindsey Hunter said. "Back to the drawing board. It was just a total disaster from jump ball to finish."
The Suns not only lost the game but lost center Marcin Gortat for what could be an extended period. Gortat had eight points and four rebounds in the first 11 minutes, but came down awkwardly on his right foot after chasing a rebound.
Initial X-rays were negative, but Gortat will undergo an MRI on Thursday and said there is already bruising and swelling as he left the locker room on crutches.
"I stepped on someone's foot with my heel and I felt a pop," Gortat said. "I think I'll be fine but the doctors are saying a few days or weeks maybe. I knew right away it was my arch and I have a pretty big bruise."
With Gortat out and Jermaine O'Neal on leave to be with his ailing daughter, the Suns turned to the 7-foot-2 Haddadi. Haddadi was scoreless in his nine-minute Suns debut.
But Telfair fared much better.
Toronto led 28-24 after one quarter and stretched that lead in the second. Telfair fed Alan Anderson for a 3-pointer and then added a basket to push the Toronto lead to nine. Then another 7-0 Raptor run, capped by Rudy Gay's block on Wesley Johnson and alley-oop pass to Johnson for the dunk, pushed the lead to 48-34 with 3:55 left.
Telfair capped the half with his second 3-pointer of the quarter with 44 seconds left and the Raptors took a 54-40 lead to the half.
They scored the first seven points of the third quarter, and the rout was on.
Dragic said the loss of Gortat changed the game.
"He's a big presence in the paint. He changes shots and takes care of rebounding," Dragic said. "I had six assists in the first quarter with Gortat and after that, zero.
"Every time he sets the pick and roll, he sucks the defense in or they stay with the shooters and we find the motion. After he got hurt, we didn't have that."
NOTES: Since the trade for Marcus Morris -- and the added playing time for Markieff Morris and Johnson -- the Suns bench scoring has increased by 10.2 points per game (34.6 before, 44.8 after). They had only 32 points on Wednesday. ... Gay came into the game averaging 20.7 points against the Suns in 24 career games. That's the second-highest total against any league foe, topped only by the 21.2 points he puts up against Golden State. He had just five on Wednesday, ... O'Neal, who had averaged 12.1 points, 9.8 rebounds and 2.0 blocks in his last eight games, will be out for an undetermined time while his daughter undergoes surgery to repair a leaky heart valve. ... Casey, on Andrea Bargnani following his 26-points and seven rebounds at Golden State -- his first 20-point game since Dec. 7: "We're looking for consistent play, consistent effort, consistent focus and consistent defense. And for him, consistent rebounding is also important." Bargnani had nine points in 24 minutes against the Suns.

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