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Shorthanded Sixers lose close one to Chris Paul and the Phoenix Suns, 116-113

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Phoenix Suns v Philadelphia 76ers Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Tonight, the Sixers lost to the Suns at home, 116-113.

The Sixers were decimated by injuries heading into this one, missing Ben Simmons (illness), Tobias Harris (knee) and Seth Curry (hip) from the starting lineup. Doc Rivers opted to go with a starting lineup of Shake Milton, Danny Green, Matisse Thybulle, Furkan Korkmaz and Joel Embiid.

Let’s start with the bad. Shake Milton had possibly his worst game as a pro, with 5 points on 2/10 shooting, 4 turnovers to only 2 assists, and a game-worst -17. He looked completely lost out there, and has been struggling to create offense lately overall. The Sixers will need to get Shake right for the playoffs, as Milton and George Hill figure to be the team’s bench ball-handlers in the postseason.

Thybulle missed each of the four shots he attempted, but played remarkable defense against Devin Booker. Thybulle had 2 steals and 3 blocks. He hounded the guard all game, and helped limit him to a line of 19 points on 6/14 from the field. To his credit, Booker hit three big shots for Phoenix down the stretch to provide the Suns with just enough cushion to escape with a victory.

The Suns’ other star, Chris Paul, was excellent, scoring 28 points on 17 shots, with 8 assists and 0 turnovers.

MVP candidate Joel Embiid had another impressive performance: 38 points on 14/23 from the field, 3/5 from three, 17 rebounds and 4 assists. The blemishes on Embiid’s line are the 8 turnovers he accrued, which proved costly. Embiid almost send the Wells Fargo Center into a tizzy and the game into overtime with a last-second, full-court heave that just rattled out as the buzzer sounded.

Also of note for the Sixers was the strong play off the bench from rookie Tyrese Maxey and recent acquisition George Hill, who both provided the team with solid minutes on both ends of the court.

Next up for the Sixers is the first of two games in Milwaukee with the third-seeded Bucks, starting Thursday night.