DeMar DeRozan scored 23 points to lead the Toronto Raptors to their first victory in seven games, a 101-97 win over the Phoenix Suns on Friday.

Amir Johnson added 16 points while Jose Calderon contributed 13 points and nine assists and Kyle Lowry finished with 15 points for Toronto (4-13).

Marcin Gortat, Jared Dudley and Shannon Brown scored 14 points apiece for the Phoenix (6-10).

The Suns were hungry to make up for a humiliating 117-77 loss in Detroit two nights earlier — the third worst margin of defeat in the Suns’ history.

Toronto appeared to provide the perfect victim, with the second worst record in the league, but the Raptors weren’t going down on this night.

The Raptors trailed by 10 points in the first quarter but chipped away at the Suns’ lead. DeRozan scored on a putback of his own blocked shot with 0.3 seconds left to go in the third, to give Toronto an 80-76 lead with one quarter left in the game.

Calderon carried the team for much of the fourth, either scoring or assisting on virtually every point for a Raptors squad desperate to hold on for a victory. A three-point play by Johnson gave Toronto a nine-point lead, but the advantage slowly disappeared and a layup by Brown pulled the Suns to within 96-95 with two and a half minutes on the clock.

A Lowry steal and dunk put Toronto up 98-95, before Brown replied with a bucket with 1:07 on the clock to make it a one-point game. Lowry scooped up a rebound on a Gortat miss and was fouled, draining one of two free throws.

Then Andrea Bargnani, back after missing Wednesday’s loss at Memphis with a sore left ankle, grabbed a huge rebound with three seconds on the clock and was fouled for two free throws to clinch the rare win for Toronto.

The strong ending must have been welcome relief for the beleaguered big man who scored just four points in 27 minutes. Bargnani, Toronto’s No. 1 draft pick in 2006, has drawn the ire of Raptors’ fans again this season, and last week against San Antonio scored just four points on 2-of-19 shooting.

Mickael Pietrus made his Raptors debut just hours after the team announced his signing. The six-foot-six three-point specialist spent the last four seasons with Orlando, Phoenix and Boston after spending his first five with Golden State. The Raptors acquired him to help fill the void left by injured Landry Fields (arm).

The Raptors had a sluggish start falling behind by 10 points midway through the first quarter and trailed 25-19 heading into the second.

Calderon made an immediate difference in the second, doling out five assists as the Raptors shot 72 per cent and whittled away at the Suns’ lead. A three-pointer by Lowry at the buzzer cut the Suns’ lead to 52-51 at halftime. It was the first time in eight games the Raptors weren’t outscored in the second.

DeRozan led the way with seven points in the third, and his bucket and free throw with less than a second left in the game gave Toronto an 80-76 advantage heading into the fourth.

NOTES: Toronto rapper Drake had a courtside seat, along with Senator David Braley, owner of the Grey Cup champion Toronto Argonauts. . . The Raptors honoured Canada’s men’s wheelchair basketball team that captured gold at the London Olympics.