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Sixers lose first game of season to Suns 114-109

NBA: Philadelphia 76ers at Phoenix Suns Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia 76ers have lost their first game of the 2019-20 season, falling to the Phoenix Suns 114-109. The Sixers were in the game just about the whole way, but they were unable to make key defensive stops when it counted most and had quite a few blunders on the offensive end to close the game.

The Sixers had zero answer for Devin Booker down the stretch. Booker went off for 40 points and was incredibly efficient, going 15 for 19 from the field (3 for 4 3PT) and 7 for 7 from the line. For most of the game, Booker was getting his points but it never really felt like he was taking over. That is of course until the 4th quarter, when Booker’s number as called again and again.

Booker wasn’t the only member of the Suns with a successful shooting night. In fact, the Suns as a team shot over 50% from the floor and 39.3% from deep. Ricky Rubio, career 32% 3PT shooter? How about a 3 for 5 from deep. Aron Baynes, noted Sixers killer, had three of his own triples on five attempts.

For the Sixers, Al Horford and Tobias Harris had strong offensive outings and that was about it. Harris finished 10 for 20 from the floor and for most of the night, his offense was keeping the Sixers in the game. Harris did struggle shooting the three (1 for 6), but aside from perimeter attempts, Tobi was getting to his spots and converting at a high rate. He also added 10 rebounds. As for Horford — he was excellent. The veteran big man scored 32 points on 20 shots including 5 for 8 from behind the arc.

Ben Simmons was active as a screener but for the most part, he was palpably absent from the offense in this one. Simmons finished with just 6 points, 5 rebounds and 6 assists. He was however a menace on defense during the first half and finished with a whopping 7 steals.

The Sixers did not look great, and yet they did have a few chances to steal this game away from Phoenix. Next on the slate is the Utah Jazz on Wednesday. Joel Embiid has served his two-game suspension and will be back in action against the Jazz as Philly looks to get back in the win column.

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