Tue, 21 Mar 2023

Mikal Bridges scored 29 points, Deandre Ayton recorded a double-double of 22 points and 13 rebounds, and the host Phoenix Suns scored their sixth win in the last seven games, holding off the Toronto Raptors 114-106 in a back-and-forth contest on Monday.

Phoenix and Toronto exchanged the lead 16 times, with neither holding an advantage of more than 10 points at any juncture. The Suns pulled ahead for good with 3:02 remaining, however, when Bridges scored on back-to-back buckets off of assists from Ayton.

Fred VanVleet scored two of his team-high 24 points in response, pulling the Raptors back within a point. On the next possession, Torrey Craig snared the rebound on a Bridges miss, then found a wide-open Chris Paul for a 3-pointer with 1:30 to go that proved to be the dagger at 106-102.

Paul scored seven of his 19 points in the closing 90 seconds, tacking on four free throws after his clutch 3-pointer. He also dished nine assists, grabbed four rebounds and blocked two shots.

VanVleet matched Paul's game-high with nine assists, while Gary Trent Jr. scored 21 points. The Toronto backcourt duo shot a combined 5 of 18 from 3-point range, however, as the Raptors limped to a 9-of-33 shooting performance (27.3 percent) from beyond the arc as a team.

Toronto shot 40 of 89 from the floor overall (44.9 percent). Phoenix was also below 50 percent shooting from the field at 43 of 87 (49.4 percent), including 11 of 28 (39.3 percent) from 3-point distance.

Paul led the way at 4 of 7 from deep and Bridges went 3 of 4. Damion Lee came off the bench to shoot 2 of 6 on 3-point attempts en route to 11 points.

Dario Saric, who shot 4 of 6 from the floor, added another 11 points.

Pascal Siakam scored 19 points for Toronto, which fell to 2-2 on its seven-game road swing with Monday's loss. Precious Achiuwa posted 11 points and a team-high 12 rebounds for his third consecutive double-double and fifth in the Raptors' last six games.

--Field Level Media

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