LOS ANGELES, United States, Jan 23 – Eric Bledsoe exploded for 40 points as the Phoenix Suns claimed another win over the Toronto Raptors with a 115-103 victory at the Air Canada Center arena.
The Suns are riding a modest two game win streak and have now taken both games of the season series against the Raptors.
Devin Booker on Sunday added 20 points for the Suns. Tyler Chandler had 16 points and nine rebounds.
DeMar DeRozan had 22 points for Toronto, while Jonas Valanciunas contributed a double-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds for Toronto who lost a third consecutive game for the first time this season.
“If you’re a true competitor you hate this feeling, you hate leaving the arena like this,” DeRozan said. “It sucks at night, having that on your mind, having consecutive losses, especially three that you’re not used to having.
“You just have to come out with that feeling and that hunger, that aggressiveness the next game.”
Toronto led 60-57 at half time. DeRozan led Toronto with 16 points. Valanciunas had 10 points and 10 rebounds in the first half. Bledsoe led Phoenix with 18 first-half points.
Chandler banked in a hook shot with 7:29 to play to tie the game 95-95.
Carroll’s jump shot with 6:37 left gave Toronto a two-point advantage but two free throws by Bledsoe tied the game again. PJ Tucker’s layup gave the Suns a 99-97 lead.
Tucker made one of two free throws with 5:27 remaining in regulation and Phoenix led by three.
Tucker scored on a hook shot and to give Phoenix a 102-97 lead.
Bledsoe’s layup with 3:58 left gave Phoenix and a six-point lead. And his jumper with 3:26 to go made it 107-100.
Elsewhere, Karl-Anthony Towns had 32 points and hit a go-ahead jump shot with 42 seconds left as the Minnesota Timberwolves rallied to beat the Denver Nuggets 111-108 in a showdown between two of the youngest teams in the NBA.
Shabazz Muhammad came off the bench to score 20 for Minnesota. Canadian star Andrew Wiggins had 24 points for the Timberwolves, who improved to 16-28 on the season and have won five of their past seven games.
Gary Harris returned from an ankle injury to score 22 points and Nikola Jokic had 18 points and eight rebounds for Denver, who had won four of their previous five games.
– Youth served –
The two teams have each been led by their young second-year centres. Denver was in eighth place in the Western Conference coming into the game, 3 1/2 games in front of Minnesota.
In Dallas, the Dallas Mavericks blitzed Los Angeles in the second quarter, handing the hapless Lakers their worst loss in franchise history 122-73.
Dallas rode a 31-9 run in the second quarter that built upon its 29-22 lead after one quarter.
Seven Mavericks finished in double figures, including Justin Anderson with 19 points. Seth Curry had 14 points, and Dirk Nowitzki and Wesley Matthews each scored 13 points.
Lou Williams, with 15 points, and Jordan Clarkson, with 10, were the only Lakers to score in double figures.
In Orlando, Stephen Curry scored 27 points, and the Golden State Warriors won their seventh consecutive game by overwhelming the Orlando Magic 118-98.