Paul, Ayton lead Suns past Raptors for 30th victory
Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul (3) looks to pass as he goes up against the Toronto Raptors during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, March 26, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
DickScanlon, The Associated Press
Published Friday, March 26, 2021 10:59PM EDT
TAMPA, Fla. - Chris Paul and Deandre Ayton each scored 19 points and the Phoenix Suns held off the Toronto Raptors 104-100 on Friday night despite not making a field goal in the last 3:50.
Paul and Devin Booker converted four free throws in the final 42 seconds. Booker had 16 points to help the Suns improve to 30-14.
Paul also had eight assists, and Ayton had nine rebounds and two blocks - the last block on Siakam in the final minutes.
Siakam had 26 points and 11 rebounds for the Raptors, and Fred VanVleet had 22 points. They fell two days after beating Denver to end a nine-game losing streak.
The Suns shot 48% overall, making only 9 of 36 3-pointers.
The Suns' biggest lead was 14 midway through the third quarter. Ayton's jump hook with 3:50 left put them up 100-91, but they never made another shot.
Gary Trent Jr., acquired Thursday in the trade that sent Norman Powell to Portland, started for Toronto and played 31 minutes, scoring eight points.
The Raptors played without DeAndre Bembry and Paul Watson Jr. after they entered the NBA's health and safety protocol Friday.
Thirteen members of the Toronto entourage, including seven players and head coach Nick Nurse, have missed games due to COVID since Feb. 26, and two games have been postponed.
Suns: The Suns are an NBA-best 15-6 on the road. . . . F Abel Nader missed a third straight game with a sore right knee. Raptors: Rodney Hood, who came in the same trade as Trent, entered with 5:40 left in the first quarter and had two points in 18 minutes. ... Toronto made 12 of 45 3-pointers.
Suns: At Charlotte on Sunday night.
Raptors: Vs. Portland in Tampa on Sunday night.