Phoenix and Toronto elected to put forth minimal effort on the defensive end last night and the result was an old fashioned shootout that had the Suns walking away with 140 to 125 victory over the Raptors.
The Suns were ahead 70 to 60 at the half and by the midway point of the third quarter the score was already an eye-popping 84-79 in favor of the Suns.
Despite yet another loss, Raptors head coach Sam Mitchell was in a jovial mood following the game and told the media scrum waiting form him that, “it was obvious that we weren’t going to stop them so we had to make shots. I thought Mo and Mike did what they had to do to try to keep us in the basketball game. They made shots. I wasn’t disappointed in the way they played. I thought Pape played hard, I thought Andre and all our guys played hard. That’s a smart basketball team and they have the best point guard in the league that orchestrate things.”
Suns head coach Mike D’Antoni wasn’t content with the win and complained to reporters following the game about his team’s inability to play defense. While basketball fans love watching games like this D’Antoni realizes that Championships are won by teams that are able to stop other teams not just outscore them.
“We really try to play defense, we really do,” D’Antoni joked to reporters following the game. “I just thought they hit unbelievable shots. We couldn’t get the separation from them and they played a good game. But again, people are going to score a lot of points because we score a lot of points. We gave them a lot of chances to do it.”
Morris Peterson had 23 points at the half and finished the game with 38 points. Peterson was able to hit outside shots which opened up the lane for him to throw down a couple of nasty dunks. Following the game Peterson was more interested in dwelling on another tough loss rather than a enjoying praise after a strong individual game. The vet talked about why his team lost told reporters that, “a team like that who have been doing that all year, and that’s their style, they are not going to stop. They are going to try to score more points than you. If you come down and score, they don’t care, they’re going to push the ball up the court. The things we have to learn is that when you play a team like that you have to get back. You have to get back and find your man. If you don’t find your man, you have to find the closest guy to you. If it’s not your man, all those guys are interchangeable. We did a terrible job of that tonight.”
Mike James dropped 36 points on the Suns but was in a sour mood following the game after yet another loss. When a reporter asked James about what it’s like to be in a zone, James turned to the reporter and corrected him by saying, “that’s just how I play, it ain’t no zone. A zone is if I score 60 in a game then ask me if I feel like I’m in a zone. It’s not like I haven’t done this the whole season. I’m just playing my game and taking whatever shots come my way and still trying to make plays for my teammates.”
Another player who had a strong game for the Raptors was Pape Sow who had a career high in points (15) and rebounds (13) and posted the first double-double of his career.