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RECAP: Rising Phoenix Suns edge sinking Toronto Raptors

Mar 26, 2021; Tampa, Florida, USA; Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam (43) drives to the basket as Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) defends during the first half at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 26, 2021; Tampa, Florida, USA; Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam (43) drives to the basket as Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) defends during the first half at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Deandre Ayton scored 19 points and grabbed nine rebounds, Chris Paul had 19 points and eight assists and the visiting Phoenix Suns defeated the Toronto Raptors 104-100 Friday night at Tampa.

Devin Booker added 16 points for the Suns, who won both games between the teams this season. Mikal Bridges scored 11 points to help Phoenix prevail for the fourth time in five games overall.

Pascal Siakam had 26 points and 11 rebounds for the Raptors, who fell for the 10th time in 11 games. Fred VanVleet added 22 points, OG Anunoby contributed 15 points and Kyle Lowry had 11.

Gary Trent Jr., obtained with Rodney Hood in a trade Thursday that sent Norman Powell to the Portland Trail Blazers, started for the Raptors and had eight points in 31 minutes. Hood scored two points in 18 minutes off the bench.

The Suns, who led by as many as 14 points in the third quarter, took a six-point lead into the fourth.

Dario Saric made a layup with 8:11 remaining to give the Suns a 13-point edge.

The lead was down to seven when Toronto’s Chris Boucher made a layup with 3:30 to play. Two free throws by Siakam cut the gap to 100-98 with 2:11 to go.

Paul made two free throws with 42.5 seconds to play, and the Suns led by four. VanVleet’s layup cut the deficit to two with 36.2 seconds to go, but Booker made two free throws with 2.2 seconds left to complete the scoring.

The Suns, who led 29-28 after the first quarter, scored the first seven points of the second. The Raptors responded by scoring the next 11 points.

Phoenix took a 53-46 lead on Ayton’s layup with 1:58 remaining in the second quarter, and the Suns led 53-51 at halftime.

The Suns scored the first six points of the third quarter. They took a 10-point lead on a steal and a layup by Bridges with 9:08 to play in the third. The Suns led 73-59 on Ayton’s put-back layup with 6:22 to play.

The Raptors pulled to within four points on a layup by Aron Baynes with 2:07 to play in the third. Phoenix led 83-77 after three quarters.

Paul Watson and DeAndre’ Bembry did not play for the Raptors because of health and safety protocols.

–Field Level Media