In a game that saw 16 lead changes and 10 ties, the Phoenix Suns came up just short against the Philadelphia 76ers at the Wells Fargo Center, losing 104-101. Jrue Holiday showed why he was worth a four-year $41 million contract extension, as he had a career-best 33 points and 13 assists in the win Sunday evening. The Suns out-rebounded the 76ers 41-33, and made 19 of 20 free throws, but couldn’t get the stops when needed. The Suns are currently ranked last in the NBA, allowing opponents to shoot 42.6 percent from three. For the sixth time this season, the Suns allowed an opponent to shoot over 45 percent from three, as the 76ers shot 47.4 percent, making 9 of 19 three pointers in the game.
Evan Turner made consecutive three-pointers to start the game off, and help build an early 10-2 lead for Philadelphia. Turner would finish as the 76ers second leading scorer with 16 points and 9 rebounds. The Suns came back to score eight straight and take a 16-14 lead as Philadelphia went cold and missed eight straight field goals in the span of four minutes. The final three minutes saw both teams trading baskets, with the 76ers eventually taking a three point lead into the second quarter.
Trailing 23-20 after the first period, Sebastian Telfair made three straight jumpers to give the Suns a 29-25 lead. Telfair would lead the Suns off the bench with 12 points and two assists in the game. Maalik Wayns kept the 76ers close by scoring seven straight points, the 76ers only points in the first six and a half minutes of the quarter. Philadelphia scored the last five points of the half, and in a quarter that saw six ties and three lead changes, eventually took a 46-41 lead into the locker room. The Suns out-rebounded the 76ers 26-16 in the first half, but committed eight turnovers. The 76ers made 5 of 10 from three and committed just two turnovers.
Both teams started scoring early and often to start the third quarter. The Suns took a one point lead halfway through the period when Marcin Gortat hit a 16-foot jumper to make the score 60-59. Gortat would score 13 in the quarter on 5 of 6 from the field, and finish the game with 18 points and 7 rebounds. After trading baskets for several minutes, the 76ers went on a 9-0 run to give them an 80-70 lead late in the quarter. The Suns scored five points in the final 33 seconds to trail by only five entering the final period. Both teams ended the quarter scoring 34 points and shot over 60 percent from the field. Jrue Holiday had 11 in the quarter for the 76ers.
The Suns scored the first six points of the final period, capping off an 11-0 run that started at the end of the third quarter, to give them an early 81-80 lead. The 76ers immediately went on a 14-6 run of their own to regain a 94-87 lead, with Lavoy Allen scoring five of those points in the span of one minute. Allen would finish the game scoring 11 points and grabbing six rebounds. The 76ers lead would remain at seven with under two-and-a-half minutes remaining in the game. The Suns would answer with a 6-0 run and pull to within one, at 98-97, after Jermaine O’Neal hit a baseline jumper. Phoenix would cut the lead to one point on two more occasions down the stretch, but just couldn’t get that one stop they needed to go ahead. Down by two late in the game, Michael Beasley drove the lane, but missed a wide-open layup with 2.8 seconds to go that would have tied the score. Beasley, after scoring a total of seven points in the last two games combined, was the leading scorer for the Suns with 21 points. He has his best shooting night as a Suns player, making 8 of 13, but missed the biggest shot of the night to give the 76ers the win.
The loss ended a two game win streak for the Suns, who fall to two games under .500 for the season. This was the Suns first stop on a six-game road trip, their longest of the season. They take on the Cleveland Cavaliers for the second time this season on Tuesday, before heading to Detroit to face the Pistons Wednesday.