Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 2)

Series starts 1/4

Game 1: Sunday, January 4th
Game 2: Tuesday, February 10th

Suns 73

(12-22, 3-14 away)

Raptors 83

(17-15, 10-5 home)

    1:00 PM ET, January 4, 2004

    Air Canada Centre, Toronto, ON

    1 2 3 4 T
    PHX 15 18 22 1873
    TOR 20 17 21 2583

    Top Performers

    Phoenix: S. Marion 11 Pts, 14 Reb, 2 Ast, 2 Stl, 3 Blk

    Toronto: D. Marshall 15 Pts, 15 Reb, 2 Ast, 1 Stl, 3 Blk

    Suns drop five of last seven

    TORONTO (AP) -- Jalen Rose and the Toronto Raptors erased the memory of a poor outing against New Orleans with a strong performance against Phoenix.

    Vince Carter scored 23 points and Donyell Marshall finished with 15 points and 15 rebounds, leading the Raptors to an 83-73 victory over the Suns on Sunday.

    Rose added 16 points and five assists for the Raptors, who were routed by the Hornets on Friday.

    "Any time you don't win you go home and do a lot of soul searching. You watch the sports shows and read all the newspapers, you soak it all in on how you stunk," said Rose, who shot 1-for-8 from the field and had just two points against the Hornets.

    "We played better and I played better."

    The Raptors have won three of four and improved to 9-7 since acquiring Rose and Marshall from Chicago in late November. Alvin Williams added 13 points, seven assists and five rebounds.

    "It was an all-around effort on both ends," Carter said. "We contained Steph the best we could."

    Phoenix's Stephon Marbury scored 17 points on 5-for-17 shooting, and Shawn Marion had 11 points and 14 rebounds.

    "It was like we had two left feet on offense," Phoenix coach Mike D'Antoni said.

    The Suns are 4-12 since Amare Stoudemire, last season's Rookie of the Year, went on the injured list Dec. 6 with a sprained left ankle.

    "Time is ticking for us," Marbury said of Phoenix, which fell to 12-22. "We can't let our injuries be a hindrance to us."

    Toronto rookie center Chris Bosh scored six points on 1-for-9 shooting before leaving the game with five minutes left due to a sprained right shoulder.

    Bosh stayed in the game for several minutes after Jahidi White set the punishing screen that injured his shoulder.

    "It was like running into a wall," said Bosh, who weighs at least 70 pounds less than White. "I didn't see him."

    A layup by Marbury with 7:04 left pulled Phoenix within five points, but Marshall countered with a layup, and Rose made a nice bounce pass to Marshall, whose dunk extended Toronto's lead to 72-61 with 5:51 remaining.

    After Penny Hardaway missed a jumper, Peterson made an open 3-pointer from the corner, giving Toronto a 14-point lead with 4:53 left.

    Hardaway followed with a jumper, but Carter scored on a tip-in to give Toronto a 77-63 lead with 3:24 remaining.

    Toronto grabbed three straight offensive rebounds before Curry made two free throws and extended the lead to 79-65 with 1:58 left.

    Rose gave Toronto a 10-point lead by making two free throws with 36 seconds remaining.

    "We played very well," Toronto coach Kevin O'Neill said. "I was happy with the intensity of our team all afternoon."

    Toronto outscored Phoenix 25-18 in the fourth quarter.

    Carter scored 15 first-half points and helped Toronto to a 37-33 lead at the break.< ^Notes@ Toronto's Milt Palacio didn't return after spraining his left wrist in the second quarter. ... The Suns are 4-9 since Mike D'Antoni became the head coach. ... Donnell Harvey had 10 points and five rebounds. ... Marion took just 10 shots. ... Hardaway went 2-for-8 from the field for just four points. ... The Raptors held a 46-42 edge in rebounding. ... The Suns face former coach Scott Skiles in Chicago on Monday night.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 73 83
    FGM-FGA 27-74 (.365) 28-73 (.384)
    3PM-3PA 2-9 (.222) 8-19 (.421)
    FTM-FTA 17-22 (.773) 19-26 (.731)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 12-42 11-46
    Assists 15 19
    Turnovers 18 16
    Steals 10 8
    Blocks 3 7
    Fast Break Points 6 4
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 24 (1/0) 15 (0/0)

    Top Performers

    Shawn Marion Marion
    Points: 11
    Reb: 14
    Ast: 2
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 3
    Donyell Marshall Marshall
    Points: 15
    Reb: 15
    Ast: 2
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 3