The Toronto Raptors aim to match their season-best four-game winning streak when they host the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday. Toronto, which won four in a row in mid-November, is averaging 119.3 points during the current three-game stretch.
The Suns are looking to break even on a six-game road trip and received 46 points from star shooting guard Devin Booker in Monday’s 115-101 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers. The 21-year-old Booker connected on five 3-pointers and was 17-of-32 from the field while establishing a season best for points (his career high is 70). “He gets that look,” Suns coach Jay Triano told reporters afterward, “and it doesn’t matter how closely you guard him, it doesn’t matter who guards him - he just finds a way to create space and be electric.” Toronto is a stellar 8-1 at home and hasn’t played since Friday as it enters the finale of three straight at the Air Canada Centre.
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, NBATV, FSN Arizona (Phoenix), Sportsnet One (Toronto)
ABOUT THE SUNS (9-16): Booker is averaging 34.8 points over his past four games and his latest superb effort occurred after he was awful in the early part of the contest. Booker missed nine of his first 10 shots before reversing course by knocking down 16 of his final 22 attempts and said afterward his focus is on seeing improvement. “I know there’s more things I have to work on,” Booker told reporters. “Turn around this franchise, start to get wins and make the playoffs. Whatever I have to do to do that, I‘m with it.”
ABOUT THE RAPTORS (14-7): Second-year center Jakob Poeltl missed Monday’s practice but Toronto hopes to have the 7-footer after his terrific performance in the club’s last game. Poeltl flashed his potential with a career-high 18 points on 8-of-8 shooting in Friday’s 120-115 victory over the Indiana Pacers - the best showing of his young career. “I’ve been working it a lot, on my finishing, and I think it’s paying off,” Poeltl told reporters. “And obviously, there’s not a lot of defensive focus on me, so I‘m trying to use that space to finish.”
1. The Suns won both of last season’s meetings and also hold a stellar 14-6 mark when visiting Toronto.
2. Toronto standout SG DeMar DeRozan is averaging 28 points over the past two games after scoring a season-low two in Saturday’s rout of the Atlanta Hawks.
3. Phoenix PG Tyler Ulis had 12 points and 12 assists against the 76ers for his first double-double of the season.
PREDICTION: Raptors 113, Suns 104