PHOENIX, February 28 – Shaquille O'Neal scored a season-high 45 points on 20-of-25 shooting and added 11 rebounds to lead the Phoenix Suns to a 133-113 win over the Toronto Raptors on Friday.
Louis Amundson added a career-high 20 points off the bench and Matt Barnes had 18 for Phoenix, which was playing its second straight game without Steve Nash due to an ankle injury.
Coming off a lopsided 132-106 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday, the Suns turned to their big man and he carried them on his back.
The 15-time all-star put on his most impressive display since joining Phoenix last season.
O’Neal scored 23 points in the first half to help the Suns keep pace and then put on a dunking exhibition en route to 13 points over a six-minute stretch in the fourth quarter to help them pull away.
O’Neal’s display spoiled the homecoming of Shawn Marion, who spent the first 8 1/2 seasons of his career with Phoenix before being sent away in exchange for O’Neal at last season’s deadline.
Marion finished with a season-high 27 points and added 11 rebounds.