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Raptors fall short late as league-leading Suns snap Toronto’s 6-game win streak

It took a good game by one of the league’s best teams, playing at full strength, to end Toronto’s six-game winning streak.

And that had the Raptors looking at the positives on Tuesday.

OG Anunoby had 25 points, and Pascal Siakam added 22, but the Raptors dropped a 99-95 decision to the league-leading Phoenix Suns, in a match that went down the final seconds in Toronto.

“You just got to appreciate the fight, be proud of the fight,” said Fred VanVleet. “That was a really intense, tough game, That’s probably as good as it gets without a crowd in there. [The Suns] certainly raised their level, there’s a reason why they have the best record in the NBA, it’s because they play that way every night.

“I thought that we answered the call. I thought it was a good test for us.”

Jae Crowder had 19 points, while Chris Paul had 15 points and 12 assists to top the Suns (31-9).

A day after he’d been named Eastern Conference player of the week for the first time in his career, VanVleet concluded with 21 points.

Chris Boucher hauled down a game-high 16 rebounds to go with 13 points for the Raptors (20-18), who were missing a pair of starters in rookie Scottie Barnes (knee soreness) and Gary Trent Jr. (ankle).

“Played ’em tough,” said coach Nick Nurse. “It was a physical game, kind of slow-paced and grinding, I thought they were definitely trying to out-physical us and we hung in there really good. I thought we handled it well, and actually played really physical ourselves.

“It could probably have gone either way, really.”

The game was so intense that Suns’ guard Devin Booker got angry at The Raptor mascot, the only fan in the building, in the dying seconds. The Raptor waved his arms and kicked a leg when Booker was at the free-throw line and the game still undecided. Booker threw his arms in the air in anger and complained loudly to the referee.

“We hashed it out. We cool now,” Booker stated about Toronto’s mascot after the game.

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