Andrea Bargnani, who'd missed the previous six games for the Toronto Raptors -- all of them losses -- returned to action on Tuesday and scored 36 points, 27 of them in the second half, as the Dinos broke their losing streak with a 99-96 win against the Phoenix Suns.
Bargnani started slowly, hitting just 1-5 shots in the first quarter as the Suns pulled at to a 27-17 lead at the first break. But coach Dwane Casey kept him in the game -- he played 42 minutes -- and Il Mago began getting into a flow. In the third quarter, he broke wide open, hitting four threes and dropped 18 points as Toronto pulled ahead.
The fourth quarter was a dogfight as Steve Nash made his presence felt (9 points, 3 assists in 7 minutes in the quarter), but Toronto held on to end their losing streak at eight games. With the win, the Raptors rise to 5-11 on the season, still well outside the playoff chase. The Suns' playoff hopes aren't much better, as Phoenix is 6-11 in a deeper conference.