GANTER: Raptors’ final scrimmage not their finest hour — Toronto Sun

Ideally the hurdles would have come earlier in the scrimmage schedule. Read More

GANTER: Raptors’ final scrimmage not their finest hour — Toronto Sun

deally the hurdles would have come earlier in the scrimmage schedule.

But after two solid games with the odd issue to deal with, the Raptors closed out the scrimmage portion of the NBA re-start with their worst of three performances in a 117-106 loss to the Phoenix Suns.

GANTER: Raptors’ final scrimmage not their finest hour

On Saturday, the games count for real and the competition only gets tougher with the LeBron James-led Los Angeles Lakers providing the opposition.

A repeat of Tuesday’s turnover-prone offence and lackadaisical defence is going to get the Raptors off on the wrong foot.

In truth, this was a team that looked and played like they were done with these tune-up games.

Through three quarters, much of that with the starters on the floor, the Raptors turned the ball over 18 times. And it wasn’t as if it was just one guy having a bad game. The giveaways were contagious with Pascal Siakam, Fred VanVleet, Kyle Lowry, OG Anunoby and Norm Powell all committing three turnovers each.

But the Suns were allowed to do just about whatever they wanted and scored more than 30 points a quarter in the three quarters the starters were still in the game, a claim very few opponents can make against a Raptors team that hangs its hat on its defence.

All in all, it was a very un-Raptors-like performance.

“Well, we certainly didn’t do anything very well,” head coach Nick Nurse said. “It’s a combination of us not being super engaged or energetic and them playing very well. Give them a lot of credit, I thought they had us back on our heels all night. We turned it over — geez, we must have had eight turnovers in the backcourt, which is just strange; you have one or two of those every two months, you know what I mean, normally. So just, not very engaged and that’s it.”

Perhaps the best thing about the night from a Toronto perspective was that it marked the end of the meaningless scrimmages.

Nurse seemed to be in complete agreement with that.

“I think I’m glad there isn’t any more of these, right?,” he said. “I think we’ve gone one too far with these you know what I mean? Certainly (based on) our mindset or the way we played tonight.

“But it’s OK,” he continued. “Listen, we again didn’t have a lot of great, engaged play tonight, and it showed up in transition defence and contesting shots and missed assignments and things like that. But it’s so meaningless that you can kind of wash it away pretty quick and hopefully we’ll have (the players’) attention here for a few days of practice which I’m sure we will and we’ll get some things ironed out and then we get to see come Saturday night what the deal is.”

Nurse knows his team better than anyone else and he pointed out they tend to have one of those games once in a while where they get all the bad habits and poor play out of the way and then normally rebound in a very big way.

Powell, one of just a few Raptors who will look back on this game and find anything they want to take from it, was very clear just how long he thought the stench of this one would last.

“Right after the game ended,” he responded to a question about how long it would take this team to flush this one. “We’ll obviously talk about it and about how we can improve and get better but we take it for what it is and move on to the next one.

“It’s real come Saturday so we can’t focus too much on this one. We’ll take the learning (lessons) that we can and see how we can get better for the actual seeding games and get ready for the real deal.”

THE FEW BRIGHT SPOTS

It starts with Marc Gasol in this one. Nurse stretched him out to almost twenty minutes and he looked as engaged as anyone on the court wearing Raptors colours.

Gasol had five points and nine boards, but it was his energy and bounce that caught Nurse’s eye.https://www.youtube.com/embed/CTYRMukWGeM?embed_config={%27relatedChannels%27:%20[],%27autonav%27:true}&autoplay=0&playsinline=1

Powell was an offensive standout as after a couple of games of not seeing his shot drop, he seemed to find the range.

The combo guard/forward was 6-for-11 from the field and made two of his three attempts from beyond the arc for a 14-point night.

Two-way guard Paul Watson also got some love from his coach in this one. The seldom-used Watson played just over 10 minutes and had seven points.

“He was good, man,” Nurse said. “I just liked his energy, he as attacking, I thought he played with good confidence. I liked him a lot tonight. I think he’s got some size, got some speed, he looks like he’s certainly not afraid out there. He looked good, a good bright spot and a good chance to see him.”

QUICK HITS

Mississauga native Oshae Brissett, the Raptors’ other two-way player on the roster, was a no-go for Tuesday’s final scrimmage after he got banged up a little earlier in the week. He joined Pat McCaw, who remains out with an undisclosed issue that Nurse said he expects McCaw will wind up playing through … Nurse was not aware of any other setbacks in the game from an injury perspective, although he noted Terence Davis took a hard fall and was a little sore. He didn’t believe that would be a lingering injury.

Aron Baynes Says He Tested Positive for COVID-19, Hopes to Join Suns in Orlando —

Matt York/Associated PressPhoenix Suns center Aron Baynes confirmed he tested positive for COVID-19.Baynes told Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium he remains hopeful of rejoining the Suns for the restart of the 2019-20 season but that he hasn’t “touched a basketball for over 30 days.”Shams Charania @ShamsCharaniaPhoenix Suns center Aron Baynes (@AronBaynes) tells me…

Aron Baynes Says He Tested Positive for COVID-19, Hopes to Join Suns in Orlando —

Siakam busts out of slump in Phoenix — Toronto Sun

PHOENIX — Pascal Siakam was named an honourable mention for February’s East player of the month on Tuesday, but that’s old news already. More important, at least for Siakam and the Toronto Raptors ahead of Tuesday’s game against Phoenix, were the all-star starter’s recent struggles and what he was going to do about them. Well, […]

Siakam busts out of slump in Phoenix — Toronto Sun

RAPTORS AT SUNS: Ibaka, VanVleet listed as doubtful against Phoenix.

INJURY REPORT AT 5:30 P.M. TUESDAY

Phoenix Suns Harper, Jared Out G League – Two-Way
Johnson, Cameron Probable Injury/Illness – Low Back/right Hip; Contusion
Kaminsky, Frank Out Injury/Illness – Right Patella; Stress Fracture
Lecque, Jalen Out G League – On Assignment
Oubre Jr., Kelly Out Injury/Illness – Right Knee; injury
Owens, Tariq Out G League – Two-Way
Toronto Raptors Brissett, Oshae Out G League – Two-Way
Gasol, Marc Out Injury/Illness – Left Hamstring; Tightness
Hernandez, Dewan Out Injury/Illness – Right Ankle; Sprain
Ibaka, Serge Doubtful Injury/Illness – Right Knee; Soreness
VanVleet, Fred Doubtful Injury/Illness – Left Shoulder; Soreness

Watson, Paul Out G League – Two-Way

Fred VanVleet (sore shoulder) and Serge Ibaka (sore knee) were listed as doubtful and Marc Gasol (hamstring) was listed as out for the away game Tuesday night against the Phoenix Suns.

VanVleet and Ibaka have missed the past two games. Gasol will miss his 14th straight game.

The Raptors and Suns will be trying to end three-game losing streaks. The Suns will be without Kelly Oubre Jr. (knee) for the fourth consecutive game.

The Raptors defeated the Suns in Toronto 118-101 on Feb. 21.

TORONTO – The Suns (22-34), playing their first game back after the All-Star break, dug a huge hole in the first half but nearly fought their way out of it in the second half before ultimately falling 118-101 to the Toronto Raptors (41-15) at Scotiabank Arena. The Suns held their final lead of the game at 14-13 in the first quarter before the Raptors went on a 13-2 run to take their first double-digit lead of the game. The Raptors dominated the second quarter, outscoring the Suns 36-20 in the period, taking their largest lead of the game at 67-41 just before taking a 24-point lead into the intermission as Pascal Siakam had 25 points at halftime. The Suns opened the second half on a 19-8 run to cut into the lead and trailed by 15 going into the fourth quarter. In the fourth, Deandre Ayton scored all seven points on a 7-1 Suns run to cut the score to 96-90 with 8:08 remaining. Six points was as close as the Suns would get before the Raptors ended the game on a 16-6 run. The Suns shot 41.3% from the field as Toronto had 13 blocked shots. Devin Booker led the Suns with 21 points while Ayton had 17 points and 10 boards. Siakam finished with 37 points to lead the Raptors. RAPTORS

RAPTORS 118, SUNS 101 POSTGAME NOTES: With the win, Toronto improves to 41-15 this season and 22-7 at home … The Raptors have won five straight games vs. Phoenix, their longest winning streak against the Suns ever … Toronto is 6-1 in the month of February.

FINAL SCORE: TORONTO RAPTORS 118, PHOENIX SUNS 101
DATE: FEBRUARY 21, 2020 ATTENDANCE: 19,800 (Sellout)
FINAL SCORE RECORD HIGH POINTS HIGH REBOUNDS HIGH ASSISTS
Phoenix 101 22-34 Booker – 21 Ayton – 10 Rubio – 9
Toronto 118 41-15 Siakam – 37 Siakam – 12 Lowry – 10
KEY RUN
Leading 102-95 with 5:29 remaining in the fourth, Toronto went on a 9-2 run to push the lead to 14 with 2:44
left … The Raptors led by double figures the rest of the way.
KEY STAT
Toronto shot .525 (42-for-80) from the field, including .543 (25-for-46) in the first half … The Raptors are a
perfect 16-0 this season when they shoot 50 per cent from the floor.
RAPTORS NOTES:
• With the win, Toronto improves to 41-15 this season and 22-7 at home … The Raptors have won five
straight games vs. Phoenix, their longest winning streak against the Suns ever … Toronto is 6-1 in
the month of February … The Raptors continue a four-game homestand (Feb. 21-28) Sunday night
when they host the Indiana Pacers.
• The Raptors have won eight consecutive games at Scotiabank Arena (Jan. 17 – Feb. 21), their second
longest home winning streak of the season.
• Toronto outscored the Suns 30-17 on the fast-break.
• The Raptors led by as many as 26 points late in the first half.
• Toronto committed a season-high 25 turnovers.
• Pascal Siakam recorded his 11th double-double of the season with game highs of 37 points and 12
rebounds in 38 minutes … Siakam scored 17 points in the first quarter.
• Kyle Lowry posted his fifth straight double-double and 12th of the season with 13 points and a game-high 10 assists in 34 minutes … Lowry is averaging 17.0 points and 11.0 assists during this span.
• All five Toronto starters scored in double digits, combing for 92 points.
• The Raptors had seven players score double figures – Siakam (37), Serge Ibaka (16), Terence Davis
ll (14), Fred VanVleet (14), Lowry (13), OG Anunoby (12), Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (10).
SUNS NOTES:
• With the loss, Phoenix falls to 22-34 on the season and 11-16 on the road … The Suns have lost five
in a row on the road … Phoenix continues a three-game road trip tomorrow night at Chicago.
• Deandre Ayton returned to the lineup after missing the previous two games (Feb. 10-12) with left ankle
soreness … Ayton recorded his 16th double-double with 17 points and 10 boards in 36 minutes.
• The Suns had four players score in double digits – Devin Booker (21), Ayton (17), Ricky Rubio (13) and Kelly Oubre Jr.(11).

SUNS AT RAPTORS PREGAME NOTES: Toronto’s 40-15 record after 55 games is the best in franchise history. The Raptors reached 40 wins prior to the All-Star break for the third consecutive year. Toronto has won at least 51 games each of the last four seasons (2015-19) after not reaching 50 wins in any of their first 20 seasons in the NBA.

INJURY REPORTS AT 1:30 FRIDAY

PHX@TOR Phoenix Suns Ayton, Deandre Probable Injury/Illness – Left Ankle; Soreness
Baynes, Aron Probable Injury/Illness – Left Hip; Soreness
Harper, Jared Out G League – Two-Way
Kaminsky, Frank Out Injury/Illness – Right Patella; Stress Fracture
Lecque, Jalen Out G League – On Assignment
Okobo, Elie Probable Injury/Illness – Left Ankle; Sprain
Owens, Tariq Out G League – Two-Way
Saric, Dario Probable Injury/Illness – Left Ankle; Sprain
Toronto Raptors Brissett, Oshae Available – Gasol, Marc Out Injury/Illness – Left Hamstring; Strain
Hernandez, Dewan Out Injury/Illness – Right Ankle; Sprain
McCaw, Patrick Doubtful Injury/Illness – Illness; Flu-like symptoms
Powell, Norman Doubtful Injury/Illness – Left Finger; Fourth – metacarpal fracture
Watson, Paul Out G League – Two-Way

RAPTORS NOTES

• The Toronto Raptors return from the NBA All-Star break Friday night when they host the Phoenix Suns at Scotiabank Arena. Toronto has swept back-to-back season-series against Phoenix. Serge Ibaka averaged 18.0 points in two games against the Suns last season, while Kyle Lowry averaged a double-double with 13.5 points and 10.0 assists. The Raptors had their franchise-record winning streak stopped at 15 games with a 101-91 loss Feb. 12 at Brooklyn.

• Toronto begins the unofficial second half of the season with a four-game homestand (Feb. 21-28). The Raptors have won seven in a row at Scotiabank Arena, their second longest home winning streak of the season. Toronto opened the season with nine straight victories at Scotiabank Arena. Over the last seven home games, Toronto is averaging 125.9 points and is shooting .519 (326-628) form the field, including .423 (107-253) from three-point distance.

• With a victory Friday night over Phoenix, the Raptors would guarantee a winning record for the month of February. Toronto has finished with a winning record each of the past 21 calendar months (February 2017 – January 2020). The streak is the longest in franchise history and the longest current streak in the NBA. The last month in which Toronto did not have a winning record was January 2017 (8–9).

• Kyle Lowry recorded his 16th career triple-double, and 14th in a Raptors uniform, Feb. 12 at Brooklyn. He finished with 12 points and team highs of 12 assists and 11 rebounds against the Nets. Lowry’s 14 tripledoubles are more than all other Raptors combined (12). The last player to record a triple-double for Toronto other than Lowry was Jose Calderon on Dec. 16, 2012 vs. Houston.

• The Raptors have finished with fewer turnovers than their opponent in each of the last 16 games (Jan. 15 – Feb. 12) – the longest streak in franchise history. Toronto has a +79 (218-to-297) turnover differential during this stretch and leads the NBA in points per game off turnovers (22.5). The Raptors are 33-9 this season when recording fewer turnovers than their opponent in a game.

• Serge Ibaka scored a game-high 28 points in the loss to Brooklyn last Wednesday. Ibaka has now scored 20+ points in six of his last eight games played (Jan. 28 – Feb. 12). He is averaging a team-high 22.4 points during this span, while shooting 61 per cent (72-118) from the floor. Ibaka has now scored 20 or more 15 times this season, something he did 16 times in 74 games last season.

• Toronto’s 40-15 record after 55 games is the best in franchise history. The Raptors reached 40 wins prior to the All-Star break for the third consecutive year. Toronto has won at least 51 games each of the last four seasons (2015-19) after not reaching 50 wins in any of their first 20 seasons in the NBA.

• The Raptors outscored Brooklyn 22-11 on the fast-break last Wednesday. Toronto ranks second in the NBA in fast break points per game (18.7), behind only Milwaukee (19.0). Pascal Siakam ranks fifth among all players averaging 4.1 fast break points, while Fred VanVleet is 12th at 3.6 fast-break points per game.

• Kyle Lowry is two games shy of tying Morris Peterson (542) for second on the Raptors’ all-time games played list. DeMar DeRozan is the franchise leader with 675 appearances in a Raptors uniform.


PROBABLE STARTERS

G – OG ANUNOBY #3

MIN: 29.1 REB: 5.4 AST: 1.5 STL: 1.2 TO: 1.2 BLK: 0.7 PTS: 10.2

• Scored four points and grabbed three rebounds in 32 minutes Feb. 12 at Brooklyn. • Toronto is 21-4 this season when Anunoby scores 10 or more points. • Averaging a career-high 10.2 points and shooting a career-best .499 from the field this season.

F – PASCAL SIAKAM #43

MIN: 35.0 REB: 7.5 AST: 3.5 STL: 1.0 TO: 2.4 BLK: 0.9 PTS: 23.5

• Totaled 16 points, eight rebounds and four assists in 37 minutes Feb. 12 at Brooklyn. • Ranks 15th in the NBA in scoring (23.7); averaging 22.0 points (Feb. 5-12) over the last five games. • Has scored 30+ points 13 times; had five 30-point performances in 80 games played last season.

C – SERGE IBAKA #9

MIN: 27.2 REB: 8.0 AST: 1.4 STL: 0.6 TO: 1.9 BLK: 0.8 PTS: 16.1

• Scored a game-high 28 points and collected nine rebounds in 35 minutes Feb. 12 at Brooklyn. • Averaging 19.1 points, 8.9 rebounds and 32.0 minutes in 21 games as a starter this season. • First player in NBA history with 500+ three-point field goals and 1,500+ blocks.

G – KYLE LOWRY #7

MIN: 36.5 REB: 4.7 AST: 7.6 STL: 1.2 TO: 2.9 BLK: 0.4 PTS: 19.6

• Posted his second triple-double of the season with 12 points, 12 assists and 11 rebounds Feb. 12 at Brooklyn. • Passed Vince Carter (9,420) for third on the franchise’s all-time scoring list Feb. 7 at Indiana. • Ranks eighth in the NBA in assists per game (7.6); has dished out 10+ assists 11 times

G – FRED VANVLEET #23

MIN: 36.0 REB: 3.7 AST: 6.8 STL: 1.9 TO: 2.3 BLK: 0.3 PTS: 18.0

• Finished with 22 points, two rebounds and one assist in 39 minutes Feb. 12 at Brooklyn. • Ranks fourth in the NBA in steals per game (1.91); has registered multiple steals in 22 games. • Has scored 20+ points in three of the last four games (Feb. 7-12); averaging 21.8 points during this stretch.


INJURY REPORT Marc Gasol (Left hamstring; tightness) – Out Dewan Hernandez (Right ankle; sprain) – Out Patrick McCaw (Flu-like symptoms) – Doubtful Norman Powell (Left hand; fourth metacarpal – fracture) – Doubtful.


TONIGHT’S GAME DETAILS

Opponent: Phoenix Suns Date: Friday, February 21 Tip-Off: 7:30 p.m. (ET) Venue: Scotiabank Arena Television: TSN Radio: Sportsnet 590 The FAN

SERIES RECAP VS. PHOENIX

OVERALL HOME ROAD 2018-19

2-0 1-0 1-0 ALL-TIME 16-29 8-14 8-15

STREAKS Won 4 Won 2 Won 2

LAST WIN: January 17, 2019 (111-109)

LAST HOME WIN: January 17, 2019 (111-109)

LARGEST MARGIN OF VICTORY: +27, March 6, 2013

LARGEST MARGIN OF DEFEAT: -20, February 27, 2009

LAST TIME VS. PHOENIX

GAME 47 – JANUARY 17, 2019 TORONTO 111, PHOENIX 109

TORONTO – Pascal Siakam scored the winning basket just before time expired and the Toronto Raptors beat the Phoenix Suns 111-109 … Serge Ibaka put Toronto up 109-107 on a hook shot with 47 seconds left, but Mikal Bridges tied it with a pair of free throws with 13 seconds remaining … Toronto gave the ball to Siakam, whose driving shot bounced off the backboard and fell through the rim as time ran out … Siakam had 10 points and 12 rebounds, Ibaka scored 22 points and Kyle Lowry had 16 points and nine rebounds for the Raptors, who have won eight straight at home and six of seven overall … Devin Booker scored 30 points, Deandre Ayton had 15 points and 17 rebounds, and Kelly Oubre Jr. scored 18 for the Suns … Fred VanVleet had 15 points and C.J. Miles returned after missing three of the previous four games because of a sore right hip to score 13 as Toronto swept back-to-back season series against Phoenix for the first time … Kawhi Leonard (rest) sat as the Raptors played the second game of a back-to-back … Lowry was originally expected to rest, but told coach Nick Nurse he wanted to play as he works is way back into shape after missing time with a sore back … The Raptors are an NBAbest 8-1 in the second game of back-to-backs this season … Lowry finished with eight assists, giving him 5,002 for his career.

1 2 3 4 TOT

PHOENIX 20 29 29 31 109

TORONTO 32 25 20 34 111

NEXT GAME DETAILS Opponent: Indiana Pacers Date: Sunday, February 23 Tip-Off: 6 p.m. (ET) Venue: Scotiabank Arena Television: Sportsnet One Radio: TSN 1050 Toronto

SERIES RECAP VS. INDIANA

OVERALL HOME ROAD 2019-20

2-1 1-0 1-1 ALL-TIME 42-49 28-18 14-31

STREAKS Won 2 Won 12 Won 1

LAST WIN: February 7, 2020 (115-106)

LAST HOME WIN: February 5, 2020 (119-118)

LARGEST MARGIN OF VICTORY: +25, March 19, 2017

LARGEST MARGIN OF DEFEAT: -29, April 8, 2009

LAST TIME VS. INDIANA

GAME 52 – FEBRUARY 7, 2020 TORONTO 115,

INDIANA 106 INDIANAPOLIS — Two days after rallying from a 19-point deficit to extend their franchise-record winning streak, the short-handed Raptors beat Indiana 115-106 for their 13th consecutive victory … Toronto has been winning without Marc Gasol and Norman Powell, two key players who are injured … Kyle Lowry missed the final 14 and a half minutes with a whiplash injury … The Raptors beat the Pacers for the second time in three days and head home with their 10th consecutive road victory … Serge Ibaka scored 22 points and grabbed 10 rebounds … Fred VanVleet added 20 points and seven assists for Toronto, which hasn’t lost since Jan. 15 … Lowry finished with 16 points and 11 assists, his ninth double-double of the season … Domantas Sabonis finished with 19 points and 16 rebounds to lead the Pacers, and Victor Oladipo added 15 points and four assists in his first home start since returning from an injured right knee … Indiana has lost a season-high four in a row … Toronto had a 12-3 run in the third quarter which contributed to an 87-78 lead … When Lowry left with 2:42 to go in the third, the Pacers closed out the quarter with five straight points, cutting the deficit to four … The Pacers got as close as 101-99 with 6:47 left before Terence Davis scored seven points in a 12-4 spurt that gave Toronto a 113-103 lead with 1:48 to go.

1 2 3 4 TOT

TORONTO 36 28 23 28 115

INDIANA 31 32 20 23 106

GAME 55 – FEBRUARY 12, 2020 BROOKLYN 101 , TORONTO 91 BROOKLYN — The Toronto Raptors had their franchise-record winning streak stopped at 15 games with a 101-91 loss to the Brooklyn Nets … The Raptors couldn’t find the form that helped them average 121.2 points and shoot 50 per cent over the previous 15 games … This time, they hit only 37.8 per cent, with Kyle Lowry’s triple-double coming on a night when the point guard was just 4 for 13 … Serge Ibaka had 28 points and nine rebounds for the Raptors … Fred VanVleet scored 22 points and Lowry had 12 points, 12 assists and 11 rebounds … Caris LeVert scored 20 points for the Nets, who ended a six-game losing streak against the Raptors … Harris added 19 points and Spencer Dinwiddie had 17 points and nine assists for the Nets, who head into the break 25-28 after having Kyrie Irving for just 20 games … The Nets extended a 10-point lead after three quarters to 80-65 … Ibaka made a three-pointer and VanVleet converted a three-point play to cut it to 91-82 with 4:13 remaining, but LeVert made consecutive baskets to quickly push the lead back into double figures … The Nets scored the first seven points of the second quarter to open a 3019 lead … The Raptors had the deficit down to six in the final minute of the period, but the Nets made it 52-40 at halftime … Toronto’s 15-game run was the longest winning streak ever snapped by the Nets.

1 2 3 4 TOT

TORONTO 19 21 25 26 91

BROOKLYN 23 29 23 26 101


GAME 54 – FEBRUARY 10, 2020 TORONTO 137 , MINNESOTA 126

TORONTO – OG Anunoby scored a career-high 25 points and matched his career best with 12 rebounds, Kyle Lowry had 27 points and 11 assists, and the Raptors extended their franchise-record winning streak to 15 by beating the Timberwolves 137-126 … Pascal Siakam scored 14 of his 34 points in the fourth quarter, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson had a seasonhigh 21 and Fred VanVleet added 16 as the Raptors won their 16th straight home meeting with Minnesota … D’Angelo Russell scored 22 points in his Minnesota debut and Karl-Anthony Towns had 23 points and 10 rebounds, but the Timberwolves couldn’t build on Saturday’s surprise victory over the Clippers that snapped a 13-game losing streak … Jarrett Culver, Malik Beasley and Juancho Hernangomez scored 15 apiece for the Timberwolves, who have lost five straight against Toronto … Minnesota trailed 106-94 through three quarters but former Raptor James Johnson made two 3-pointers as the Timberwolves opened the fourth with a 12-2 run, cutting it to 108-106 with 9:07 left … That was as close as Minnesota would get … Chris Boucher and Siakam scored to push Toronto’s lead back to six points, and VanVleet and Patrick McCaw hit 3-pointers on either side of Towns’ free throw to make it 120-109 with 5:28 remaining.

1 2 3 4 TOT

MINNESOTA 36 39 19 32 126

TORONTO 40 34 32 31 137

PHOENIX SUNS

LAST GAME’S STARTERS (Record when using this starting lineup: 1-0)


F 3 KELLY OUBRE JR. 6-7 203

LAST GAME: Scored 15 points and grabbed 6 rebounds in 32 minutes in win vs. GSW LAST VS. TOR: Scored 18 points and had 9 rebounds off bench on 1/17 last season + Has scored 10+ in 22 straight, averaging 21.2 pts on 46.8 FG%, 40.7 3P% plus 7.7 reb… NBA Ranks: 1.25 spg (31st), 34.4 mpg (t-24th)

F 25 MIKAL BRIDGES 6-6 209

LAST GAME: Scored 14 points on 6-12 FG and 2-4 3P plus 3 steals and 1 block vs. GSW LAST VS. TOR: Scored 15 points with 5 rebounds and 4 assists on 1/17 last season + Averaging 10.9 points (50.9 FG%, 45.7 3P%), 4.9 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.7 steals and 1.5 3P in 14 starts this season… NBA Ranks: 1.47 spg (16th)


C 14 CHEICK DIALLO 6-8 219

LAST GAME: Made 2nd straight start, scoring 10 points on 5-6 FG plus 8 rebounds vs. GSW LAST VS. TOR: With NOP, posted DD with 16 points and 12 rebounds on 3/8 last season + Made first 2 starts of season over last 2, averaging 12.5 points on 12-15 FG (80.0%)… He had 1 career start prior to these last 2 games (3/26/2019 with New Orleans vs. ATL)


G 1 DEVIN BOOKER 6-5 206

LAST GAME: Led Suns with 27 points, also dishing out 8 assists in win vs. GSW LAST VS. TOR: Led Suns with 30 points and 8 assists in 2-point loss on 1/17 last season + Posting career highs this season in FG% and FT%… NBA Ranks: 26.4 ppg (10th), 6.3 apg (19th), 49.6 FG% (30th), 92.0 FT% (2nd), 35.9 mpg (7th)

G 11 RICKY RUBIO 6-3 190

LAST GAME: Led Suns with 9 assists, also recording 9 points, 5 rebounds and 2 steals vs. GSW LAST VS. TOR: With UTA, had 14 points and 8 assists on 1/1 last season + His 8.6 assists per game are the most by a Suns player since Steve Nash averaged 10.7 in 2011-12… NBA Ranks: 8.6 apg (4th), 1.36 spg (21st)

Injury Report Statuses TBD Injury Report Statuses TBD Deandre Ayton (left ankle soreness) has missed last 2 games Dario Šarić (left ankle sprain) has missed last 7 games Aron Baynes (left hip soreness) has missed last 13 games Frank Kaminsky III (right patella stress fracture) has missed last 22 games Jared Harper (2W), Jalen Lecque (A), Tariq Owens (2W) are with G League LAST GAME INACTIVES: Baynes, Harper, Kaminsky, Šarić .