In their first game since the NBA trade deadline, the Toronto Raptors lost the 10th of their last 11 games against the Phoenix Suns, 104-100.
In what may have come as a surprise to many, Gary Trent Jr. started Friday night’s matchup in Tampa, barely 24 hours after his transfer from the Portland Trail Blazers.
Trent and his new teammates got off to a strong start, with Pascal Siakam heading into the locker room at halftime with 17 points. The Cameroonian would finish with a team-high 26, despite going 0/6 from the 3-point line.
The Phoenix Suns are in terrific form at the moment and have not lost two consecutive matches since February. “Point God” Chris Paul, as he is famously referred to, led the way with 19 points 8 assists and 6 rebounds. Big man Deandre Ayton showed out as well and tallied 19 points on a clinical 9-12 from the field, to go with 9 rebounds.
After shooting lights out on Wednesday night against the Denver Nuggets and recording a franchise record 24 threes, the Raptors went freezing cold on Friday and only scored 12 of their 45 attempts from deep (26.7%.) As a team, the Suns hit on 48% of their shots and seemed more composed throughout the battle.
The not-traded Kyle Lowry scored 11 points to go with 6 assists and 5 rebounds. Trent Jr. finished with 8 points in 31 mins. Another new Raptor Rodney Hood suited up for Toronto and scored two points in 18 minutes.
In his debut for the Trail Blazers, former Raptors guard Norman Powell sizzled with 22 points in a 112-105 win over the Orlando Magic to improve to 27-18 on the season. The output was the highest scoring total for a Blazers player in their debut for the team in their history.
The Raptors will look to bounce back as they face off against their former teammate Powell when Portland visits Tampa on Sunday night at 7:00 pm. EST. It might be an odd sight for Raptors fans but a must-watch, nonetheless.
Written by Thomas Debost