Shaq scores 45 as Suns top Raptors
Phoenix, AZ (Sports Network) - Shaquille O'Neal recorded his first 40-point game since December 13, 2004 with 45 points to lead the Steve Nash-less Phoenix Suns to their 10th straight win over the Toronto Raptors with a 133-113 triumph at US Airways Center.
Nash missed his second straight game with a right ankle injury suffered in the Suns' 112-102 win over Charlotte on Tuesday. The two-time MVP is listed as day-to-day.
O'Neal also grabbed 11 rebounds for the Suns, who have won five of their last seven games. Louis Amundson added 20 points and 10 boards for his first career double-double in the win. Matt Barnes had 18 points, and Grant Hill finished with 14 points and 12 assists.
Shawn Marion donated 27 points and 11 boards for the Raptors, who have dropped three of five overall. Andrea Bargnani totaled 21 points and Chris Bosh 19 with 10 boards.
Phoenix opened a 37-30 lead after the first quarter, but had that cushion dwindled to 68-67 at the break.
The lead see-sawed for the majority of the third quarter, and Anthony Parker's trey from the right wing gave the Raptors an 87-85 lead with 4 1/2 minutes left in the frame.
The home team outscored the visitors 11-5 the rest of the third, en route to a 96-92 lead heading into the final 12 minutes.
Buckets from Amundson and Barnes, followed by a three from Jason Richardson, gave the Suns a 106-95 lead with just under 10 minutes left to play.
Moments later, three close-range baskets from O'Neal opened a 116-100 Phoenix advantage with 6:31 showing on the clock.
The Suns swept the season series for the fifth straight time...It was O'Neal's 49th career 40-plus point game. His 20 made field goals tied a franchise record...The Raptors haven't tasted victory over Phoenix since a 101-94 win in the desert on February 10, 2004...The Suns are 18-11 as the host this year, and will finish a quick two-game homestand against the Lakers on Sunday...Toronto kicked off a three-game road trip Friday. The Raptors, who are just 11-21 on the road, will finish their trek with visits to Dallas and Houston.
02/28 00:15:18 ET