June 30, 2022

Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker drives towards Toronto Raptors centre Khem Birch through the second half. The Raptors received 117-112 on March 11, 2022, in Phoenix.Rick Scuteri/The Related Press

The Toronto Raptors missed Fred VanVleet for 5 video games with a knee harm. Now that the All-Star is again, Gary Trent Jr. and the remainder of the Raptors really feel something is feasible.

Trent scored 42 factors and the Raptors held off the NBA-leading, however short-handed Phoenix Suns 117-112 on Friday evening.

Trent was 8 from 11 from 3-point vary – one of many misses was a halfcourt heave earlier than halftime – and 13 of 21 from the ground. He fell simply wanting his profession excessive of 44 factors set final season. He additionally had eight rebounds.

“It’s nice, when Freddie’s on the market, the participant he’s, he will get numerous consideration,” Trent stated. “Everyone enhances one another. It’s nice to have him again.”

Raptors coach Nick Nurse agreed.

“I do know it’s a reasonably small pattern dimension right here, however he didn’t get a complete lot going with Freddie off the ground,” he stated. “[With VanVleet] there’s higher spacing, there’s numerous focus on Fred. That’s what I noticed tonight, there was higher spacing for Gary to function.”

“He obtained going and there have been instances the place we simply stared at him or we didn’t get there,” Suns coach Monty Williams stated. “He hit some robust pictures.”

The Raptors improved to 36-30, profitable two straight after dropping three in a row, the ultimate three video games VanVleet missed.

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VanVleet had 10 factors and eight rebounds Friday. Pascal Siakam added 25 factors and 10 assists for the Raptors, and Scottie Barnes had 15 factors.

Cameron Payne had a profession high-tying 24 factors earlier than fouling out within the closing seconds for the Suns, and Devin Booker scored 22 factors. Booker missed two 3-point makes an attempt within the closing minute and was held to a few factors within the fourth quarter.

“We had probabilities to win however you aren’t at all times going to get the truthful whistle,” Booker stated. “Each staff in all probability feels that method after the sport, however I believe we positively didn’t tonight.”

Mikael Bridges scored 18 factors for Phoenix, DeAndre Ayton had 16 and Jae Crowder 13. The Suns fell to 53-14.

Toronto opened up a 96-82 lead via three quarters. However the Suns rallied with a 20-6 run to tie it at 102 with 4:36 remaining.

“I anticipated them to make an enormous run,” Nurse stated. “I stored wanting up and saying, ‘It’s all the way down to 4,’ however I might say, ‘We’re up 4 on this recreation on the highway within the fourth quarter.’

“It actually doesn’t matter who we play. We obtained to play effectively and if we do, we’re going to have an opportunity on any evening.”

Williams cited his staff’s emotion as needing some work. Payne and Booker have been every assessed technical fouls within the third quarter.

“We now have to be extra emotionally regulated,” Williams stated. “That value us momentum and we’re giving factors away. That’s one thing we’ve got to be quite a bit higher at.”

Two flagrants

With 3:27 left within the third quarter, Booker fouled Toronto’s Valuable Achiuwa on a drive to the basket. Booker was assessed a flagrant foul (penalty one). Achiuwa made two free throws and VanVleet made a 3-pointer to offer Toronto its greatest result in that time at 83-71. The Raptors led by as many as 16 within the interval.

Within the fourth quarter, with 4:13 remaining Trent was known as for a flagrant-one on Payne whereas Trent was trying a 3-point shot.

Suns on the mend

Suns level guard Chris Paul (proper thumb fracture) continued to follow taking pictures earlier than the sport Friday.

“It’s superior, nevertheless it’s simply a part of the traditional development for that sort of harm,” coach Monty Williams stated. “We’re completely happy about it however it’s a must to mood it till he’s in a position to get to 1-on-1, 3-on-3, 5-on-5, which is tough to do with the place we’re within the season.”

Paul was injured earlier than the All-Star break and is predicted to overlook one other month or so. Whereas Paul is keen to return, Williams says he isn’t involved that his level guard will attempt to come again too quickly.

“I don’t [worry] as a result of I understand how diligent he’s about his physique. Anytime a man desires to play I don’t mess with him. (Laughs) It’s when guys don’t wish to play that’s [a problem]. Our guys like to play.”

Cam Johnson (proper quad contusion) continues to enhance, Williams stated.

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Malachi Flynn (left hamstring pressure) and OG Anunoby (fractured finger) stay sidelined for the Raptors.

Tip-ins

Suns C Bismack Biyombo is donating his 2021-22 wage to construct a hospital in his native Congo to honour his father, who died of COVID-19 in August.

Biyombo was unsigned this season till becoming a member of the Suns in January. He has a one-year, $1.4 million contract. The 11-year veteran, via the muse that bears his identify, donated $1 million in medical provides to the Congo two years in the past for provides to combat COVID-19.

Subsequent

Raptors: At Denver on Saturday evening.

Suns: Host Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday evening