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The Suns Set on the Sixers as they lose to Phoenix 115-101

Despite a fourth-quarter surge, the Sixers can’t overcome Devin Booker’s 46 point game.

NBA: Phoenix Suns at Philadelphia 76ers Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Sixers fell into the inevitable trap game tonight with a 115-101 loss to the Phoenix Suns, owners’ of the NBA’s worst defense and one of the league’s best scorers. TJ McConnell, questionable going into the game, was sidelined once again and the intangibles and energy he brings to the court were sorely missed. The Sixers were hampered by low energy in the first half, leading to a 13 point deficit at the end of the first half. Despite a late-game surge by JJ Redick’s 3 point shooting, the Sixers couldn’t pull themselves out of the hole they had dug.

Or rather should I say, the hole that Devin Booker dug for them. After starting the first quarter 2-for-11 with only 4 points, Booker was nothing short of incredible. He finished with a total of 46 points, more than Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons combined. Embiid and Simmons’ stat lines were nothing to shake a stick at, both finishing with over 20 points and at least 8 rebounds. The inability to stop Booker, and T.J. Warren who finished with 25 points, was just one of the reasons the Sixers lost this game.

After a comeback game against the Pistons, Robert Covington showed that his shot might not truly be back. Despite an early first quarter three, which had me claiming that the shot was falling again, he shot 2-10 from three for the rest of the game and 3-13 from the rest of the floor. His shot may not be falling, but he is going to keep trying until it does.

JJ Redick found his shot late in the game, leading to some excitement in the fourth quarter. Going into the fourth he was shooting 0-7 from three but he surged late, finishing with 25 points and scored all 7 points in a Sixers 0-7 run to pull the Sixers within 5. The Wells Fargo Center started rocking, but Booker and Tyler Ulis were not about to let this game get away from them. The two of them went on an 11-0 run, including three 3’s, to ice the game and a Sixers loss.

Other Notes:

Still playing well as a starter, Dario Saric had a strong game with 10 points, 9 rebounds and 4 assists. He was one rebound away from his fifth double-double of the season.

Joel Embiid put up 4 blocks against the Suns, mainly Alex Len. He finished with a strong stat line of 22-12-2.

Ben Simmons had six steals tonight, putting his total for the season at 51. The only other player with over 50 steals right now is Paul George.

Going into tonight’s game, Ben Simmons felt like he wasn’t going to be able to play due to flu-like symptoms. He didn’t seem to be hindered by his health at all once the adrenaline got flowing, putting up 2 dunks including an alley-oop from Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot.

Nik Stauskas saw seven minutes of playing time tonight and a stat line of 0-0-0 and 2 turnovers. He has not scored a point in approximately 24 minutes of play since coming back from injury.

The Sixers finished tonight’s game shooting 100% from the free throw line. This includes Ben Simmons going 2-2.

The Sixers play the Los Angeles Lakers at home on Thursday, in a nationally televised game on TNT. Last time they played the Lakers it was a coming-out party for Joel Embiid, and they will be looking to bounce back from tonight. I expect another fun game for the Sixers.

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