By: Kylan Watson
The Phoenix Suns were desperate for a win as they faced an under-manned Philadelphia 76ers team. Who were missing forwards Al Horford and Tobias Harris who both had sore ankles, and also missing guard Josh Richardson who was resting. The Suns were able to take advantage of a weakened team and beat them 130-117.
Early in the game it looked good for the Sixers. The ball was moving and they were hitting their three-point shots. Forward Mike Scott was a beneficiary of the ball movement he scored 17-points, made three out of four three-point shots, and grabbed four rebounds. Scott wasn’t the only one having a great game. As guard Alec Burks also scored 23-points, and took advantage of the opportunity for more minutes.
Their shooting really kept the Sixers in the game. This was a great opportunity for the Sixers role players to emerge as the playoffs are inching closer. Head coach Brett Brown is looking for players to put in the playoff rotation. In the absence of Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons because of injury these next two games against the Toronto Raptors and Houston Rockets will be big for role players who want playoff action like Scott and Burks.
The Suns had an answer every time the Sixers went on a run. Guard Devin Booker had another great game. He scored 35 points, grabbed nine rebounds, and had seven assists. Booker struggled from the floor earlier in the game. However, because he is a threat on the offensive side he was able to take advantage of lazy defense by the Sixers. He attacked the basket, and was able to get his teammates involved.
Booker was able to throw a cross court pass to guard Cameron Payne who hit a dagger corner three-pointer that ended the Sixers come back attempt.
The Suns got the win they needed and remain undefeated since bubble play began. They are within a game of the ninth seed in the Western conference.
For the Sixers they now have a quick turnaround as they face the Toronto Raptors tomorrow. Although they do not have much to play for, its another chance for some of the role players to play themselves into the playoff rotation. As the Sixers will most likely stay in the sixth seed which would mean they would play the Boston Celtics next week.