NBA Game Summary - Phoenix at Toronto
(Sunday, January 18th)
Final Score: Phoenix 117, Toronto 113
Toronto, ON (Sports Network) - Steve Nash only finished with nine points but the two-time MVP dished out a season-high 18 assists and had a huge bucket in the waning seconds, as the Phoenix Suns handed the Toronto Raptors a 117-113 defeat.
Amare Stoudemire logged a game-high 31 points and Jason Richardson tallied 17 for the Suns, who won their ninth straight game against the Raptors and snapped a two-game skid.
Shaquille O'Neal and Matt Barnes each contributed 16 points in the win.
"I was very pleased with the win and it is nice to see Steve [Nash] finish up the way he did," Suns head coach Terry Porter said.
Anthony Parker paced Toronto with 26 points in the team's fifth straight setback. Joey Graham dropped a career-high 22 points, while Chris Bosh recorded 20 points and 12 rebounds in another loss.
Following a first half filled with offense that yielded an eight-point Suns lead, the teams played even in the third with the visitors taking a 95-87 edge into the final frame.
An 8-2 run by Toronto tied the game at 102-all with seven minutes to play. Holding a one-point lead a little later, Barnes hit a jumper and Stoudemire threw down a dunk to put the Suns up, 114-109.
Jamario Moon and Parker each hit a field goal to bring the Raptors within one. But Nash, who missed from downtown on the previous two possessions, took Bosh off the dribble after a defensive switch and laid in a runner in the lane for a 116-113 lead with 12.9 ticks left.
The Raptors opted for a quick two instead of a tying three-ball, but Parker had his running layup roll off the rim and Bosh couldn't tip in the miss to essentially seal Toronto's fate.
Defense took a back seat to a first-half showcase on the offensive end. The Raptors came out on fire and led 23-12 midway through the first, but the Suns had an answer and eventually took a 36-34 lead after 12 minutes of action.
The Suns had four players in double figures in the opening 24 minutes, led by Barnes' 14 points, and the visitors were ahead by a mind-boggling 71-63 score at halftime.
"I think in the first half we gave up a lot of fast break points," Parker said. "I think that is what hurt us."
The Suns haven't lost to the Raptors since a a 101-94 setback in the desert on Feb. 10, 2004...Phoenix, which is 11-7 on the road this season, will also face Boston, New York, Charlotte, Atlanta and Washington on its six-game road trip...The Suns have won five straight at Air Canada Centre, where Toronto is just 8-12 this season...Nash, a Canadian native, is 18-2 against Toronto in his career...Toronto guard Jose Calderon missed the game with a hamstring injury...Moon had 16 points for Toronto, which also got 15 from Andrea Bargnani...Leandro Barbosa finished with 14 points for the Suns, who got 11 points, nine rebounds and four assists out of Grant Hill.
01/18 17:18:07 ET