Phoenix 121 Toronto 109
PHOENIX – The Phoenix Suns caught the Toronto Raptors at the end of a long road trip and ran away from them in a hurry.
Eric Bledsoe scored 20 points, fellow guards Goran Dragic and Isaiah Thomas added 18 apiece and the Suns handed the Raptors their second straight blowout loss, 125-109, on Sunday night.
“They had their foot on the gas the whole game,” Suns coach Jeff Hornacek said. “If they play like that, they’re going to win a ton of games.”
Seven Suns hit double figures in the team’s highest-scoring non-overtime game this season.
“I think that was the most complete game that we’ve had this season,” Dragic said. “We were focused from the first minute to the last minute of the game, offence and defence.”
The Raptors, who trailed by as many as 19 points in the first half and 27 in the second, finished a season-long six-game road trip with their two most one-sided losses of the season, losing at Golden State 126-105 on Friday night.
Toronto has lost three in a row for the first time in more than a year.
“We were flat as a pancake,” Toronto coach Dwane Casey said. “No zip. No bounce in our step.”
Jonas Valanciunas scored 21 and Kyle Lowry 19 for the Raptors. Lou Williams and James Johnson added 17 apiece.
“It’s three games,” Lowry said. “Everybody loses games. We weren’t going to go 82 and 0 and we weren’t going to break the Bulls record at 72 and 10.”
The Suns won for the eighth time in 10 games.
“We started out the game with energy and we finished with energy,” Bledsoe said. “We couldn’t have asked for a better game.
The Suns shot 67 per cent (30-for-45) in the first half for a 70-53 lead at the break, tying their highest-scoring first half of the season. Phoenix made 18 of 23 shots in a 43-point second quarter, its most points in any quarter this season.
A 27-7 run late in the first quarter and early in the second put the Suns up by 17. The Raptors cut it to 60-50 after Terrence Ross’ 3-pointer, followed by Amir Johnson’s free throw with 2:37 left in the half.
The Suns responded with a 10-1 run to take their biggest lead of the half, 70-51, before Valanciunas’ basket cut it to 70-53 at the break.
Toronto, the league leader at 11.7 turnovers per game, committed 13 in the first half, resulting in 25 Phoenix points.
Bledsoe, Dragic and Thomas accounted for 35 of the Suns’ 70 first-half points.
Phoenix led by as many as 25 in the third quarter and 27 in the fourth. The Suns’ 98 points through three quarters matched a season high.
“We could have won by 40 if we left our starters in,” Hornacek said.
Raptors: Last lost three in a row during a five-game losing streak Nov. 26-Dec. 6, 2013. … Entered the game second in the league in scoring (108 ppg), the Suns fourth (106.7). … Faced five of the NBA’s top 10 scoring teams in their six-game road trip. … Are 11-7 without DeMar DeRozan, out with a torn abductor tendon. … 27-point deficit was their largest of the season, eclipsing 23 points in the previous game at Golden State.
Suns: Have won five straight against Eastern Conference teams. … Missed their highest score of any half this season by one point with their 70 in the first half. … Have scored at least 100 points in eight straight games. … Fans received a small stuffed dragon in honour of Dragic’s nickname – ‘The Dragon.’ … Split the season series with Toronto 1-1. … Play their next four on the road. … Archie Goodwin had a soaring breakaway dunk over Valanciunas late in the game.
Raptors: at home against Charlotte on Thursday.
Suns: at Milwaukee Tuesday.