Raptors snap five-game skid
PHOENIX—Sebastian Telfair had some extra incentive in his return to Phoenix for the first time since the Suns traded him to Toronto last month.
Telfair, who had played in only one game with the Raptors, scored 13 points to help Toronto cruise to a 98-71 win over Phoenix last night.
“I learned a lot here and grew as a person.
“But I had to leave my kids,” he added. “My kids are back here in school so, yeah, it is personal.”
Sent to the Raptors on Feb. 21 in a deal for Hamed Haddadi and a second-round pick, Telfair had played only seven-plus minutes, had remained on the bench as a 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 rest of the half.
He scored his first points for Toronto on a driving lay-up, sprinting past Goran Dragic with 35.1 seconds left in the quarter.
He finished the first half with a team-high 10 points on 4-of-7 shooting as the Raptors opened a 54-40 halftime lead.
“I was expecting to get some minutes but I didn’t know how many,” Telfair noted.
“Anytime your spot is taken or given away, you want to come out there and show you are a player,” he added.
“I do this for my family and my kids. I’ve got to do this.”
DeMar DeRozan scored 15 points and Amir Johnson added 14 to lead the Raptors, who ended a five-game losing streak.
“I thought it was one of our most focused efforts of the year defensively,” said Raptors’ coach Dwayne Casey.
“Everyone that went into the game had a big-time effort, a good defensive focus, and I thought they stayed to the task.”
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.
“I do not see one bright spot to take from that game other than it is over,” said Suns’ coach Lindsey Hunter.
“Back to the drawing board.”
“We were desperate and tired of losing, being on that five-game losing streak,” DeRozan noted.
“We had to continue to keep stepping on their necks.
“We tend to give up leads tonight and tonight we stayed focused, especially on defence,” he said.
Elsewhere in the NBA, Minnesota beat Washington 87-82, Miami nipped Orlando 97-96, Cleveland shaded Utah 104-101, Brooklyn dumped Charlotte 99-78, Boston edged Indiana 83-81, Atlanta downed Philadelphia 107-96, and New York upended Detroit 87-77.
Memphis beat Portland 91-85, the L.A. Lakers downed New Orleans 108-102, Dallas topped Houston 112-108, San Antonio upended Chicago 101-83, the L.A. Clippers dumped Milwaukee 117-101, and Golden State trimmed Sacramento 87-83.