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Phoenix Suns (37-28) at Toronto Raptors (37-27)

March 16th, 2014 at 11:06 AM
By Andrew McIntyre

Two of the NBA's most surprising teams square off this afternoon as the Toronto Raptors play host to the Phoenix Suns. Both teams finished last in their division last season, but this year they have turned it around and proven that they need to be taken seriously. The Raptors have won two in a row and five of their last six.  The Suns are coming off a win on Friday after losing four of their previous five. Their recent cold streak has caused them to fall out of a playoff spot over the last couple of weeks. This is the second and final meeting between the teams. The Suns won the first game 106-97 on December 6 in Phoenix.

Here are some notes for today's game:

  • In the first meeting between the teams, the Raptors still had Rudy Gay so they will provide the Suns with a different look this time around. Amir Johnson led the team with 22 points off the bench.
  • Markieff Morris had 25 points off the bench for the Suns in the first meeting as he led all scorers. The Suns' bench scored 47 points in the first meeting.
  • Raptors big man Jonas Valanciunas is coming off a season-high 23 points in a win against the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday. He is starting to become more assertive and has done a nice job going after the ball on the glass.
  • Kyle Lowry is averaging 20.5 points, 9.0 assists, and 7.8 rebounds over his last four games for the Raptors. Lowry has connected on 12 three's during that stretch and is 20-24 from the free throw line.
  • Suns point guard Goran Dragic is averaging 20.6 points per game and 6.1 assists per game. The Suns have six players who average double digit scoring.
  • Raptors forward Patrick Patterson (elbow) did not practice on Saturday. He is not expected to play and will likely be re-evaluated on Monday.

Projected Starters

Toronto Raptors: Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan, Terrence Ross, Amir Johnson, Jonas Valanciunas

Phoenix Suns: Goran Dragic, Eric Bledsoe, P.J. Tucker, Channing Frye, Miles Plumlee

Today's game starts at 1 pm. ET and can be seen on Sportsnet One.

Let's Go Raptors!

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Tags: Amir Johnson, Basketball, Demar Derozan, Goran Dragic, Jonas Valanciunas, Kyle Lowry, MARKIEFF MORRIS, NBA, Phoenix Suns, RAPTORS, SUNS, Toronto, Toronto Raptors

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