Raptors' Rapid Recap - Phoenix Suns 110 - Toronto Raptors 92


-Talk about a tale of two cities.  The Toronto Raptors went from a huge, passionate win over the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday night to sleep-walking through this evening's game against the Phoenix Suns, a 110 to 92 loss.  The Raps were down 35 to 14 after the first quarter and it was all downhill from there.

-In Steve Nash's annual trip to Canada, it wasn't even the former two-time MVP who did all the damage.  Yes, he led the tempo and dished out 11 assists on the night, but hit only two of his 12 shots.  Meanwhile, Vince Carter once again upped his level of play to an ACC chorus of boos, scoring 17 points, grabbing seven rebounds and notching six steals.

-However it was the Suns' bench that really brought this one home.  Phoenix's pine crew dropped 54 points on the Raps while Toronto only managed a measly 37 in return.  Combine that with a 42 to 31 advantage on the glass (despite the fact that the Suns have the NBA's third-worst rebounding rate) and 18 turnovers by the Dinos and well...you've got a pretty good recipe for loss number 43 on the year.

-So did anyone stand out for Toronto?  Well, James Johnson couldn't repeat his magic from Wednesday night, but did fill up the box score to the tune of 6 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals.  And DeMar DeRozan got into foul trouble so was limited in the second half, but started off shooting the ball well, finishing with 14 points on 6 of 11 shooting.

-No, the only real stand-out for me was Andrea Bargnani.  (Gasp!)  Yes, Bargs turned in another solid performance and while his defence continued to leave little to be desired at times, he had 26 points on 12 of 15 shooting.  He also got to the free-throw line more than any other starter and if you watched this one, you know that he really looked like the only Raptor interested in getting a W this evening.  It was a pleasant surprise on a night where there really wasn't much else positive to discuss (I wasn't there live to see Maestro at half-time), and Jay Triano now has his work cut out for him in terms of getting a much better effort out of his club before their next two matches.

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