Marion, Nash Spark Suns Past Raptors
Phoenix 90, Toronto 82
PHOENIX, Nov. 22 (Ticker) -- A lot of offense from Shawn Marion and Steve Nash with a little defense from Brian Grant proved to be enough for the Phoenix Suns.
Marion had 28 points and a season-high 18 rebounds and Nash added 23 points as the Suns posted a 90-82 victory over the Toronto Raptors.
"Be careful what you wish for," Suns coach Mike D'Antoni said. "I guess we are a defensive team now. Obviously, we did not shoot the ball very well. We've got to get over that and just relax on the offensive end. But look at the positive - we're playing really well defensively."
The Suns struggled to contain Raptors forward Chris Bosh through the first three quarters. Bosh scored 23 points on 10-of-19 shooting to help Toronto take a 63-61 lead into the final period.
However, Grant came off the bench and shut out Bosh in the fourth period, forcing him to miss all four of his shots.
While Grant led the way on the defensive end, Marion and Nash took over on offense. After Mike James' layup gave Toronto a 77-76 lead with 4:14 left, Marion and Nash scored six points apiece in a 12-0 run.
"Shawn and Steve came through for us. That's how it's supposed to be," D'Antoni said.
Marion followed a miss by Grant with a dunk with 3:55 remaining to ignite the spurt. Grant stole the ball from Bosh at the other end and got it to Nash, who found Marion for another dunk at the 3:16 mark.
"It was a tug-of-war for the most part," Marion said. "We played good the whole night defensively. We made some tough shots. They hit some but missed the majority of them and we made some big stops when we needed to."
Grant forced Bosh into another turnover and an airball during the burst, which was capped by a layup and two free throws by Nash that made it 88-77 with 45 seconds to go.
"I didn't make smart decisions down the stretch," Bosh said. "I let Brian Grant force me outside. It is a learning experience, but it is frustrating because I could have made better decisions."
"Chris is 21 years old; we have to remind ourselves of that," Raptors coach Sam Mitchell said. "We all want him to be the best player in the league right now, but it takes time."
James scored 13 points and Matt Bonner contributed 12 for the Raptors (1-10), who failed to build on their first win of the season, Sunday's 107-94 triumph over Miami.
"We didn't attack them," said Mitchell, whose team shot 40 percent (35-of-88) from the field. "They let you shoot jump shots and we settled for them. We didn't drive the ball to the basket. We're young and inexperienced and we just don't know how to win basketball games right now."
"Just because they are 1-9, they are still an NBA team, so you have to respect them," Marion said.
Eddie House scored 14 points - including eight in the final period - for Phoenix, which missed all but one of its 19 shots from the arc before hitting 3-of-6 in the fourth quarter.