Suns lose to Raptors for first time since ‘Hey Ya!’ was popular
February 10, 2004.
This date may not mean much to you, but it is kind of
important in the rivalry that is Suns vs. Raptors.
February 10, 2004 was the last time Toronto topped Phoenix
– until Tuesday night. It was also a time when OutKast’s
“Hey Ya!” was the number one song on Billboard’s Top
100, but that’s for another article on a different site.
The streak spanned 2,905 days and included 14 games that
were played by a countless number of different players,
but we’re not going to focus on those more simple, happier
No, we’re going to take a look back at that fateful
February evening, when the Vince Carter-led Raptors went
into what was still known as America West Arena and beat
the Suns 101-94. The win evened Toronto’s record at 25-25
while dropping the Suns to 18-36.
Of course, a look at that game’s box score will elicit many
“who is that” and “that guy was on the team”
questions, but that’s what time can do.
The Suns were led by a number-32-wearing, apostrophe-less
Amare Stoudemire, who scored 23 points that night,
followed closely by Joe Johnson’s 19. The team’s third-
leading scorer was center Jake Voskuhl, who chipped in 15
points and 7 rebounds. The team’s leading scorer off the
bench was none other than Howard Eisley, who scored 11.
Like we were saying, “who is that?”
But that’s just how it was back then for a team that would
ultimately go on to win just 29 games.
To wit: Of the 19 players who suited up that night, zero
are still with their respective teams, and just six are
still playing in the NBA. In fact two of them – Carter and
Leandro Barbosa – actually ended up playing for the other
team at some point in their careers, though, in Carter’s
case, the word “playing” is being used rather loosely.
In any event, just as the third quarter doomed the Suns
Tuesday, it did back in 2004, with Toronto taking the lead
after outscoring Phoenix 32-23. The more things change…
The good news for the Suns was that this was the second
half of what would be their last losing season for a
while. The team signed Steve Nash and Quentin Richardson
over the offseason, and they combined with Johnson,
Shawn Marion and Stoudemire to become one of the
best teams in the NBA.
The Raptors, on the other hand, would win just eight more
games that season and only reach the 40-win mark three
times over the next seven seasons.
So there’s that.
Arizona Sports’ Eric Saar contributed to this