Siakam, Barnes help Raptors upset Suns newsbhunt

TORONTO – Pascal Siakam scored 22 points and pulled down nine rebounds as the Toronto Raptors upset Phoenix for a 112-105 win on Wednesday, snapping the Suns’ seven-game win streak.

Scottie Barnes had 12 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter for Toronto (9-10), adding seven rebounds and four assists.

Precious Achiuwa had his first double-double of the campaign with 14 points and 10 rebounds for a season-high in both categories.

Dennis Schroder, who tweaked his knee in a 115-103 loss to the Brooklyn Nets the night before, played 33 minutes with eight points and 12 assists.

Kevin Durant led Phoenix (11-7) with 30 points. Jusuf Nurkic had a double-double with 19 points and 14 rebounds as the Suns lost for the first time since Nov. 12.

The Raptors were delayed getting out of Brooklyn on Tuesday, forcing the team to cancel morning shootaround as players and coaches rested after the long trip home.

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“Hopefully we had enough time to get quality sleep and get ready over here,” said head coach Darko Rajakovic before the game. “We’re going to put all our minds and hearts wherever they need to be to play great basketball.”

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If Toronto was tired, it didn’t show.

The Raptors led by as many as seven points in the first quarter even though the Suns were well rested, having last played on Sunday in a 116-113 victory in New York. Achiuwa gathered an offensive rebound and then sank a six-foot jumper for a 27-20 lead after one quarter.

That lead was extended to 10 points in the second, but Phoenix put together a 12-3 run, capped by a Durant field goal, to pull within one. Centre Jakob Poeltl stepped up with six points in a 9-3 run to re-establish Toronto’s lead.

OG Anunoby drilled a three-pointer with 10 seconds left in the second for a nine-point lead, but Devin Booker made two free throws to cut the Raptors lead to 60-53 headed to intermission.

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Nurkic got a defensive rebound and then finished off a series of passes with a 26-foot three-pointer to give Phoenix its first lead of the game with 5:02 left in the third quarter. Poeltl replied with a field goal and Gary Trent Jr. drilled a three-pointer to give Toronto back its lead, but the Suns had reeled in the home side.

Eric Gordon’s layup with 33 seconds left in the third cut the Raptors’ lead to 83-80, but Barnes made a pair of free throws and then a technical free throw for a six-point lead.

Barnes took over in the fourth, turning away from the basket before hitting a three-pointer a little over two minutes into the period. Then he drew a foul on a six-foot jumper, making the free throw for an eight-point lead. Achiuwa chipped in with a putback layup and a three-pointer for an 11-2 run that put Toronto up 99-88 with eight minutes to play.

Durant kept the Suns in the game, scoring 11 of his points in the fourth.

Nurkic sunk a five-foot hook shot to cut Toronto’s lead to two with 2:21 left to play but Anunoby replied with a three-pointer.

The sold-out crowd of 19,800 booed as a controversial foul was called on Siakam with 1:25 left to play, sending Josh Okogie to the line. He made both free throws to again pull Phoenix to within three.

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Anunoby grabbed the long rebound on Booker’s missed three-pointer, allowing the Raptors to kill more time on the clock and Schroder drove to the lane on the ensuing possession for a layup that gave Toronto a five-point lead with 24.4 left on the clock.

Barnes then sank two free throws for the game’s final score.

ADDED DATE — Because the Raptors didn’t advance past the group stage of the NBA’s in-season tournament, they had another home date added to their schedule instead of playing in the bracket’s quarterfinals.

Toronto will now host the Miami Heat on Wednesday.

UP NEXT — Toronto hosts the New York Knicks on Friday.

The Suns return home to face Jamal Murray of Kitchener, Ont., and the Denver Nuggets.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 29, 2023.

&copy 2023 The Canadian Press

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