TORONTO, March 16 (Xinhua) -- Toronto Raptors' bench was outscored 59-11 in the team's 121-113 loss against the Phoenix Suns on Sunday afternoon.
Toronto's bench combined to shoot 4 for 14 (28.6%) from the field with one three-point basket made and two free throws made. In contrast, Phoenix's second unit shot the ball at a 50% clip (21 for 42) with seven three-pointers and ten free throws.
Raptors head coach Dwane Casey believes the large disparity in bench scoring was a result of his team's inability to contain Phoenix's fast-tempo offence.
"They are one of the fastest teams in the league, especially when you have (Goran) Dragic and (Eric) Bledsoe coming at you," said Casey following the game. "Speed does that. Speed kills. That is the bottom line."
Dragic finished with 19 points while Bledsoe added 14. While their 33 combined points do not make an overwhelming impact on the stat sheet, Casey feels they were the source of Toronto's defensive struggles throughout the game.
"Bledsoe and Dragic starts it. Everybody else is a by-product, breaking us down," said Casey. "Guys are out of position to help and we just didn't do a good job."
Despite the poor bench result, Casey is optimistic about the remaining 17 games in the season.
"It's not a systemic problem or a situation to panic. It's one game. We knew we were not going to go undefeated the rest of the way," said Casey. "I don't think we're going to see that kind of speed and quickness the rest of the way."
Entering the game, Toronto's second-unit ranked 26th in the league with 26.5 points per game. Toronto ranked ahead of Minnesota (26.3), Indiana (26.3), Washington (24.8) and Portland (24.0).
In contrast, Phoenix's second-unit ranked fifth best in the league with 37.5 points per game. They trail San Antonio (45.5), Los Angeles Lakers (41.2), Denver (39.0) and Brooklyn (38.4).
The 11-point production by Toronto's bench was the second-worst of the season. Their lowest production occurred on Nov. 15 against the Chicago Bulls when the bench scored 10 points.