Phoenix Suns Can't Top Toronto Raptors, Notch Another Home Loss

The Phoenix Suns really needed to get a home win against a 4-13 Toronto Raptors team. Second of a back-to-back coming off a five-game road trip or not, this was a game the Suns needed and blew thanks mostly to another horrible third quarter (see also Dallas, game, loss). The final score in the miserable affair was 99-96 and dropped the Suns to 6-11 on the season.

The Suns took a four-point lead into the second half thanks to 53 percent shooting show and capable defense against one of the league's worst offensive teams. Then things fell apart and fast as the Suns gave up 18 points to Andrea Bargnani in the third quarter with the skilled Italian put another page rookie Markieff Morris' "NBA Defense" lesson book.

The energy and chemistry was horrific at the end of the third and start of the fourth until Alvin Gentry called a timeout and threatened, cajoled or otherwise motivated the Suns into showing signs of life. The push cut into a 12-point Raptors lead with the Suns finally showing the kind of fight they needed to have for the entire 48 minutes.

Things got a little interesting in the final minute when Jared Dudley (finally) hit a three to cut the Raptors lead to four and then stole an inbound pass and dunked the ball to cut the margin only two points with 23 seconds on the clock.

But Bargnani made his two free throws after being intentionally fouled and Nash missed a fairly open layup to end the Suns' chances of a miracle comeback in a game they didn't deserve to win.

Steve Nash finished with 17 points and 14 assists and Marcin Gortat had his ninth-straight double-double with 21 points and 12 rebounds. Bargnani scored 36 points in his first game back after missing the last five due to injury. Leandro Barbosa added 19 against his old team.

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