Jason Kidd had 24 points and four other Suns scored in double figures in a 95-87 victory Sunday over the Toronto Raptors.
"They had a tough road trip," Kidd said. "They came back from California yesterday, and went against a track meet team. We went up and down, and they might have been a little tired."
Vince Carter scored 35 points, but made just 12 of his franchise record 34 shots from the field.
Toronto's other starters combined for just 23 points.
Phoenix's Clifford Robinson scored 22 points, Rodney Rogers 19, Tony Delk 12 and Shawn Marion 11, including two key baskets in the last two minutes.
Marion said the Suns defended Carter well.
"He took a lot of crazy shots and a lot of them went in, but we kept our poise," Marion said. "We denied him the ball, and they don't have anyone else to go to."
Kidd and Robinson hit consecutive 3-pointers to give Phoenix a 85-77 lead with 3:50 remaining, but Toronto went on a 6-0 run as Carter converted two frethrows, Alvin Williams hit an 18-foot jumper and Mark Jackson made a jumper with just over two minutes left.
After Williams missed a long 3-point attempt, Marion made a jump hook and Kidd made one of two free throws. Williams then missed a layup and Marion followed with another jump hook, giving Phoenix a 90-83 lead with just over a minute remaining.
Carter's previous high for shot attempts was 32, done twice before.
"I wanted to step it up and hopefully spark the team. It was working for a while but we couldn't get them in the end," Carter said. "We have to avoid getting into a hole because it takes too much energy to come back."
The Suns led 41-20 with 7:10 remaining in the first half, but the Raptors went on a 21-4 run as Morris Peterson scored nine points and Carter had six to help narrow Phoenix's lead to four points.
After the Raptors scored the first basket of the game, Phoenix went on a 13-0 run as Toronto made just one of their next 12 shots. The Raptors followed with a 6-0 run before the Suns countered with a 9-0 run, taking a 22-8 lead.
"You can't get down early. It's hard to fight back against good teams," Jackson said.
©2000 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed