Thursday, March 07, 2013 12:08 am
DeRozan, Johnson lift Raptors past Suns, 98-71
The Associated Press
Seldom-used Sebastian Telfair scored 13 points in his return to Phoenix as the Raptors ended a five-game losing streak.
Marcus Morris scored 12 points and was the only player in double figures for the Suns, who committed a season-high 29 turnovers and snapped a three-game winning streak.
The Raptors led 25-22 late in the first quarter when Suns center Marcin Gortat came down with a rebound and had his left foot stepped on by Johnson.
Gortat did not return and Phoenix, already without backup Jermaine O'Neal, was left with Hamed Haddadi as the only true center available.
As a result, the Suns spent the bulk of the game with a smaller lineup that was dominated by the speedy Raptors' guards, led by DeRozan and Telfair. Sent to the Raptors on Feb. 21 for Haddadi and a second-round pick, Telfair had played only seven-plus minutes, had remained on the bench as coach's decision four times and had yet to attempt a basket, much less score any points.
Against his former team, Telfair entered the game to light applause with 2:38 left in the first quarter and played the remainder of the half. He scored his first points for Toronto on a driving layup, sprinting past Goran Dragic with 35.1 seconds left in the quarter and finished the first half with a team-high 10 points on 4-of-7 shooting as the Raptors opened a 54-40 halftime lead.
Toronto opened the second half on a 7-0 run to make it 61-40 with 9:49 left in the third quarter and led by at least 15 the rest of the way.
NOTES: Morris kept the Suns from matching the 32-year-old franchise record for fewest points with a 3-pointer with 23 seconds left. ... X-rays on Gortat's foot were negative. He's schedule for an MRI exam on Thursday. Gortat has started 138 consecutive games for the Suns and 182 straight overall. ... Telfair had his highest scoring total since getting for the Suns on Jan. 14 against Oklahoma City. ... Gortat finished with eight points, tied for third-highest on the team. ... Haddadi played just over nine minutes, his first game action since coming to the Suns, and had two rebounds and four fouls. . O'Neal left the team to be with his 13-year-old daughter, who is undergoing surgery to repair a leaking heart valve.