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Suns Strokes: Suns scrape by in win vs. Raptors

Phoenix Suns' P.J. Tucker (17) chases down a loose ball against the Toronto Raptors during the second half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Dec. 6, 2013, in Phoenix. The Suns defeated the Raptors 106-97. (AP Photo/Ralph Freso)

It wasn't pretty on the eyes, but it counts in the win column as the Phoenix Suns pulled out a 106-97 win against the Raptors at the US Airways Center.

Phoenix used a 13-5 run to start the fourth quarter, which gave them a 15-point lead and they were able to hold on down the stretch to improve to 10-8 on the season.

Markieff Morris carried the Suns offensively knocking down his first 11 shots before missing the final three on his way to 25 points and 11 boards. It was Markieff's third double-double of the season.

The Good:

Coming into the night, Toronto was the fifth best offensive rebounding team in the NBA and Phoenix was the second worst team on the defensive boards. The script got flipped with the Suns grabbing 18 offensive rebounds, six apiece from P.J. Tucker and Markieff Morris, to win the battle on the glass by 17.

The Suns locked up Raptors guard DeMar Derozan, who shot 5-15 and scored 13 points. In his previous eight games DeRozan had averaged 26 points on 50% shooting.

The Bad:

Phoenix made a strong attempt to give the game away down the stretch of the fourth quarter.

After taking a game-high 15-point lead, in the final six minutes the Suns were 2-8 from the field with four turnovers and outscored by six.

Stat of the Game:

Eric Bledsoe came into the game with only 10 unassisted baskets all season.

On Friday, Bledsoe knocked down two catch and shoot threes that were both assisted raising his total to 12. 77 of his buckets have come unassisted.

He Said It:

"I think they were ready to go for the boards," said head coach Jeff Hornacek. "That has to be our biggest advantage of the year. I would guess at 53-36. Everybody went for them.

Noted:

Gerald Green had his 15th double-digit performance in the last 18 games with 10 points.

Phoenix is 8-0 when attempting more free throws then their opponent. The Suns shot 32 free throws to only 25 from the Raptors.

Up Next:

The Suns have three days off before taking on the Lakers at the STAPLES Center on Tuesday. Los Angeles guard Kobe Bryant should be in uniform, but the status of Steve Nash is unknown. Suns Warm Up is at 8:00 and the game tips at 8:30 p.m. MDT on Arizona Sports 620.

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