Raps get Sunday spanking

Suns guard Steve Nash gets around the Raptors' Chris Bosh during fourth quarter action at the Air...

Suns guard Steve Nash gets around the Raptors' Chris Bosh during fourth quarter action at the Air Canada Centre on Sunday. (Sun Media/Dave Abel)

STEVE BUFFERY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:46 AM ET

Chris Bosh scored 30 points and picked up 17 rebounds, and Phoenix Suns coach Alvin Gentry was pleased with how his team defended the Raptors' all-star forward.

"I know you guys are going to think I'm crazy," said Gentry, following the Suns' 113-94 victory over the Raptors at the Air Canada Centre. "But I do think we did a good job on him. With the muscle that he has added, I think he's impossible (to defend). I don't know how you guard him or what you do. He has the ability to set up outside and make jump shots and then he's so much stronger taking the ball inside on his post-ups now."

Bosh displayed all sides of his game yesterday, recording his NBA-leading 15th double-double.

BRICK CITY

The problem was, his teammates produced more bricks than a cement factory, shooting a dreadful 1-for-20 from three-point range, while Phoenix nailed 13. And, as has been the case much too often this season, the Raptors couldn't bring it together on defence, nor did they rebound well.

The Raptors were beat on the boards, 48-44, and the most by a Toronto player after Bosh was Hedo Turkoglu, who had eight.

Afterwards, Bosh appeared exhausted and frustrated. The forward was double-teamed for much of the game and was tested physically over and over by the Suns' big men Amare Stoudemire and Channing Frye. With 4:18 left in the second quarter, Stoudemire basically body-checked Bosh into the baseline area, sending the Raptor flying to the floor. Fortunately, this time, his teammates responded by swarming the area, which was not the case on Friday in Boston when he was dunked on by Paul Pierce.

"Getting a lot of rebounds isn't easy," said Bosh, when someone suggested afterwards that he looked completely spent. "Being physical and everything isn't easy. I could tell before the game that they were talking about keeping me off the boards."

The Raptors are one of the highest-scoring teams in the league, but also giving up way too many points. Of course, playing the high-flying Suns, a team that is averaging 112 points, the most in the NBA, doesn't help. Suns guard Steve Nash of Victoria, B.C., had another major performance, scoring 20 points with 16 assists, one more assist than the entire Toronto team.

The Raptors bench scored a season-low 14 points.

Another problem for the Raptors was yet another third-quarter swoon. The Suns led by only one point at the half (50-49), but with four minutes left in the third, grabbed a 19-point advantage.

"We have to come out passionate about starting off the right way (in the second half) and just force our will a little bit more, instead of being passive," Bosh said.

Bosh admitted that he is getting frustrated with his team's inconsistent defensive efforts, but isn't about to yell and scream at anyone ... yet.

"I don't think that will work. We've tried that," he said. "But I'll try anything. I'll try it again. Whatever it takes to win. We just have to turn this thing around."

STEVE.BUFFERY@SUNMEDIA.CA


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