Toronto Raptors

Five takeaways from the Toronto Raptors' win against the Phoenix Suns

Kyle Lowry (NBA Getty Images)

The Toronto Raptors got their four-game road trip off to a positive start on Friday with a win over the Phoenix Suns.

It wasn't Toronto's best showing of the season, but there's something to be said for getting the job done.

With that in mind, here are five takeaways from their 107-98 win over the Suns...

Kyle Lowry's streak continues

Kyle Lowry did it again.

In setting his teammates up for 12 buckets on Friday, Lowry reached the double-figure assist mark for the seventh straight game.

That ties a franchise record set more than 20 years ago by Damon Stoudamire.

A handful of Lowry's assists on Friday were jaw-droppers, too. Take this one through the legs of Deandre Ayton as an example:

Or this one through the legs of ... Deandre Ayton:

Lowry will have an opportunity to break Stoudamire's record on Sunday, when the Raptors travel to Los Angeles to take on the Lakers.

Kawhi Leonard's injury

Kawhi Leonard left Friday's game against the Suns with a "jammed foot," but neither him nor Nick Nurse seem to be concerned about the injury.

Even so, Leonard will be re-evaluated on Saturday, when the Raptors land in Los Angeles.

Leonard looked fantastic before he suffered the injury, scoring a team-high 19 points in 29 minutes of action. He got off to a slow start with two points in the first quarter, but he scored 17 points in the second and third quarters combined.

With how valuable he's been on both ends of the court, the Raptors can only hope Leonard's foot injury doesn't linger.

Bench Mob back?

The Raptors looked more like themselves again in the third quarter, but a couple of baskets by Suns sophomore Josh Jackson - one to close the third, one to open the fourth - cut their lead to just four points with less than 12 minutes remaining.

Rather than put the starters back in, Nick Nurse trusted his all-bench unit to get the job done, and they did. The Raptors outscored the Suns by 12 points in the six minutes Norman Powell and Serge Ibaka were on the court in the final frame, and they outscored Phoenix by nine points in the eight minutes Fred VanVleet was out there.

CJ Miles also found his shooting stroke, which is an encouraging sign for someone who was shooting 21.7 percent from the perimeter entering Friday's game.

As TSN's Josh Lewenberg noted, it's probably not a coincidence that the best the bench has looked this season was when everyone was active for the first time.

Centre production

Jonas Valanciunas started against the Suns to give the Raptors more size against Deandre Ayton and he made the most of the opportunity, putting up 16 points, seven rebounds and four blocks in 24 minutes before fouling out.

Serge Ibaka soaked up the rest of the minutes at centre off the bench - minus the one minute Greg Monroe played when Valanciunas fouled out - and was equally as productive, tallying 14 points, four rebounds and two blocks.

That means the Raptors got a combined 30 points, 11 rebounds and six blocks out of their centres against the Suns.

If they can continue to get that sort of out from them Valanciunas and Ibaka moving forward, Toronto is going to be incredibly difficult for any team to stop on a nightly basis.

Another double-double for Deandre Ayton

One of the areas the Suns had the advantage on the Raptors was on the offensive glass, thanks in large part to Deandre Ayton, who set a new career-high with seven offensive rebounds.

Ayton also recorded 11 defensive rebounds in his 35 minutes on the court, giving him a 17-point, 18-rebound double-double.

With more performances like that, it might not be long until Ayton finds himself in the No. 1 spot on our Rookie Rankings.

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