Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 2)

Series starts 2/25

Game 1: Friday, February 25th
Game 2: Wednesday, March 23rd

Raptors 106

(20-51, 6-29 away)

Suns 114

(36-34, 20-15 home)

Coverage: TSNT

10:00 PM ET, March 23, 2011

US Airways Center, Phoenix, AZ

1 2 3 4 T
TOR 32 29 25 20106
PHX 26 29 31 28114

Top Performers

Toronto: A. Bargnani 27 Pts, 4 Reb, 3 Ast

Phoenix: A. Brooks 25 Pts, 4 Reb, 8 Ast, 3 Stl

Aaron Brooks sparks 13-point rally as tired Suns clip Raptors

Associated Press

PHOENIX -- The Phoenix Suns were a tired bunch before and after their 114-106 win over the Toronto Raptors.

Winning will help the Suns sleep a lot better. They won a game they had to have to keep alive their postseason hopes.

Playing 20 hours and 21 minutes after their triple-overtime loss in Los Angeles Tuesday night, the Suns didn't seem to have enough in the tank Wednesday, falling behind by 13 points late in the third quarter.

But backup point guard Aaron Brooks energized the team with nine of his 25 points over the final 2:30 of the third, and his 3-pointer with 54.9 seconds left in the game sealed the Suns' win.

"I just wanted to be aggressive, as Coach asked me to, and if the shot was there, take it," Brooks said. "We played hard. It was kind of hard. We got in late and we got it done."

The Suns took a 110-105 lead on Brooks' three from the left corner, and the Raptors couldn't recover despite 27 points from forward Andrea Bargnani. Phoenix (36-34) remained three games behind Memphis for the eighth and last Western Conference playoff spot and extended its winning streak over the Raptors to 14, the longest active win streak against an opponent.

The Suns were already at a disadvantage playing so soon after a long night. Then they lost starting guard Grant Hill to flulike symptoms and forward Mickael Pietrus to a sprained right knee before the first quarter was over, and neither returned.

That meant extended minutes for Brooks and the bench, which scored a combined 63 points. Marcin Gortat added 15 and Jared Dudley 13 and the Suns hit 12 of 28 3-pointers.

Coach Alvin Gentry called it the Suns' best win of the year.

"After [Tuesday] night and the emotional drain, then coming away with nothing really tangible to show with the effort, I thought it was great to be able to come back and put in that kind of effort and win the game," Gentry said. "We told them we can't be tired. We take off more days than Johnny Carson did. There is no reason why we couldn't finish the game and be active."

The Raptors led for almost all of the first three quarters before Brooks helped tie the score at 86 going into the fourth quarter. Toronto (20-51) scored six straight points in 35 seconds to go up 103-97 with 4:25 to play, but a layup and blocked shot by Gortat set the stage for Brooks to hit the decisive three.

"We shoot a better percentage than them, we out-rebound them and they made 3-point shots, and that's what this team does," Raptors coach Jay Triano said.

Game notes

The Raptors, with Indiana's win earlier in the evening, were officially eliminated from playoff contention. ... Major league baseball stars Matt Kemp (Los Angeles Dodgers) and Vernon Wells (Los Angeles Angels) sat courtside at the game. ... The Suns' bench totaled 61 points, led by Brooks. ... The Suns' first lead of the game was 6-4 and they didn't take another lead until Frye's 3. ... The Suns extended their winning streak to 14 consecutive games over Toronto, their longest active victory streak over any opponent.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 106 114
FGM-FGA 47-97 (.485) 42-90 (.467)
3PM-3PA 3-12 (.250) 12-28 (.429)
FTM-FTA 9-12 (.750) 18-22 (.818)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 13-49 8-42
Assists 25 26
Turnovers 11 10
Steals 6 6
Blocks 3 10
Fast Break Points 20 12
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 20 (1/1) 10 (1/0)
Largest Lead 13 8

Top Performers

Andrea Bargnani Bargnani
Points: 27
Reb: 4
Ast: 3
Stl: 0
Blk: 0
Aaron Brooks Brooks
Points: 25
Reb: 4
Ast: 8
Stl: 3
Blk: 0