Grades as the Toronto Raptors get back on track against the Phoenix Suns

The Toronto Raptors ended their three-game losing streak with a win on the road against the Phoenix Suns. How did everyone grade in the win?

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Pascal Siakam Toronto (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)

Thankfully, the Toronto Raptors have got back on track in the nick of time. Heading into a tough road trip on the back of two losses is never fun, and when they added a third against the Denver Nuggets, there was maybe a slight worry that it could spiral out of control on the road.

However, the Raptors did enough to eradicate those fears on Tuesday night against the Phoenix Suns. It wasn't easy; the Raptors didn't have a true center yet again, so OG Anunoby and Pascal Siakam split those minutes against Deandre Ayton to great effect.

It definitely didn't start well either, as the Raptors gave up 39 points in the opening quarter and fell behind by 17 points after Kyle Lowry had to leave the court following an inadvertent shot to the eye from Terence Davis. The prospects of the Raptors mounting a comeback, at the time, didn't seem particularly great.

The Raptors did just that, though. Led by Siakam, Lowry, Norman Powell, and an incredible performance off the bench from Chris Boucher, they chipped away at the Suns lead and took the game from them in the third quarter.

Injuries still plague this team, but the effort is always there. Nick Nurse has a group of guys that are willing to give their all every game. After a tough stretch of games, Siakam silenced his doubters with a melodic 33 points, with Lowry and Powell knocking down 28 and 26 respectively.

The Raptors defended hard and hit the glass even harder. At times, it didn't even seem like they were missing a true big man - that's how impressive they were, holding the Suns to just 38 points in the paint.

Always good to get a win, and it feels even better when it can break a bad run.

Starter Grades

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Pascal Siakam (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Kyle Lowry

Kyle Lowry

Point Guard | Toronto Raptors
A+
Took a nasty shot to the eye in the first quarter and the Raptors suffered. Upon his return, Kyle Lowry got the Toronto Raptors rolling again and showed little remorse. Kept the game humming in the Raptors direction and was hot from three, knocking down 50-percent from three and was a game-high 18. That doesn't come as a surprise.
Norman Powell

Norman Powell

Shooting Guard | Toronto Raptors
A+
Norman Powell continues to produce hot-scoring nights, which makes you think: "maybe this is him, now?". In any case, Powell was just as good against the Suns, scoring 26 points on 8-of-15 shooting, and getting to the line nine times, knocking down eight of his attempts. He attacks, he draws defenders in, and his shooting stroke is still one of the purest there is. The Raptors needed Powell's scoring and they got it.
Patrick McCaw

Patrick McCaw

Shooting Guard | Toronto Raptors
B-
Call it a norman Patrick McCaw game, I suppose. He was good on defense, bumped his way through screens and snatched a steal, but offensively it just doesn't click. He slows the tempo and his finishes around the rim are wild and erratic. But, to his credit, he did his job on defense and it was enough.
OG Anunoby

OG Anunoby

Small Forward | Toronto Raptors
A
Essentially lined up at center and was deployed against Deandre Ayton on defense. Even though he fouled out towards the end of the game, OG Anunoby was superb against Ayton and helped out on the glass with nine rebounds. Not the best shooting night from the makeshift center, but attacked the rim with gusto. All-round nice game.
Pascal Siakam

Pascal Siakam

Power Forward | Toronto Raptors
A+
Recent struggles aside, Pascal Siakam has had a tremendous season. Against the Suns, he demonstrated just how good he really is. He led the game in scoring with an impressive 33 points on 20 shots and knocking down 5-of-9 from three. Airballed in the first quarter but just kept coming and didn't let it affect him. Defensively, he was just as important when defending Ayton and helped hold him to 5-of-14 shooting.
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Bench Grades

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Chris Boucher (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Chris Boucher

Chris Boucher

Power Forward | Toronto Raptors
A+
Oh, baby, Chris Boucher made all the difference in this game. He hung around the boards and grabbed a career-high 15 rebounds and battled down low with Ayton all game. His presence on the glass can change games in the right match-up, he got to the line frequently and took his chances. Great, great game.
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson

Power Forward | Toronto Raptors
F
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson had a bit of a nightmare game. His lack of spacing hurt the Raptors and defensively, he just didn't have it in him. A team-worst -14.
Terence Davis

Terence Davis

Shooting Guard | Toronto Raptors
F
Not a great game from Terence Davis. Nurse made the decision to keep him on an incredibly short leash and restricted him to just seven minutes. Probably the right move, he just didn't have it. It happens.
Matt Thomas

Matt Thomas

Shooting Guard | Toronto Raptors
D
Rebounded well but the Suns made life difficult for him to find space and hit those shots. He took one shot all game and it wasn't even a three. Credit to the Suns here, but Matt Thomas shied away a little.
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Head Coach and Opponent

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Toronto Raptors (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Nick Nurse

Nick Nurse

Head Coach | Toronto Raptors
A-
Read the situation well and elected to run with Chris Boucher and the starting five ahead of the rest of the bench. It was the right move. Nurse nearly always finds the right combination, something not many coaches have a knack of doing.
Phoenix Suns

Phoenix Suns

(24-38) | Western Conference
C+
For a team that's playoff aspirations are fading fast, the Suns battled hard but their inability to win the battle on the boards against a team without a true center hurt. The Raptors gang rebounding was key and the Suns couldn't cope. Again, the struggled to score inside the paint but, unlike the last meeting, their three-point shooting split the difference.
Next: Is 2021 cap space the way to build the Toronto Raptors?

The Raptors broke the skid just in time, hopefully, they can stay on form during the road trip. Next up is the Golden State Warriors. Let's get to it.