This guy was good tonight. - Tom Szczerbowski-US PRESSWIRE
The Suns kept it close the whole game, but a common theme of poor defense, especially from the perimeter, was their undoing.
The Suns spotted the Sixers a quick 8-0 lead, but tied it back up at 14. Both team's largest lead for the first half from that point was five, which was what Philadelphia led by at intermission, 46-41. This was Sixers basketball, slow as molasses and as exciting as watching paint dry. The Suns repugnant three point defense continued as Philly shot 5-10 from deep.
The third quarter was played at a much livelier (watchable) pace. Philadelphia led through most of the quarter, and by as many as 10, but Phoenix kept it close for the most part and ended up down only 80-75. Gortat had a great quarter with 11 points and three rebounds to help keep the Suns in the game.
The Suns continued to keep it close in the fourth quarter, but it seemed like the game was slipping out of reach with the Sixers up 98-91 with 3:09 left and Dragic and Gortat on the bench. Dragic and Morris substituted in and pulled within one at 97-98, but the Suns couldn't execute when they had a chance to tie or win after a missed free throw by Holiday and fell to Philadelphia 104-101. Tough loss in an imminently winnable game.
Player of the Game:
Jrue Holiday played like an all-star tonight. He was easily the best player on the court for either team. He added nine points in the fourth quarter, including a shot with 26 seconds left to put Philly up 102-99, en route to a 33 point, 13 assist effort.
Comments of the Game:
(great job keeping it real in the gamethread - you know who you are. Here's a hint... it's all of you.)
This game is difficult for me to watch. I just went and ate dinner. Hopefully the Suns will pull off a win here.
Gentry.. Come on man.
How do we tell Beasley to bottle this game and do this over and over and over again?
The Sun put up a stout showing on the boards with Markieff Morris leading the way with 10. Overall, the Suns outfought the 76ers to a 41-33 edge.
Shannon Brown, the distributing marvel he is, led the Suns with seven assists. That somewhat made up for his 1-7 effort from the field.
The Suns kept it close the whole way and gave themselves an opportunity to win. Anytime a team does that on the road is an encouraging sign (the lugubrious fan writes about a good loss).
Marcin Gortat looked good in limited minutes (not exactly sure why they were limited) with 21 points and seven rebounds. It has been an up and down season for Marcin.
Beasley made a contribution on the offensive end, especially late, and finished with 21 points on 8-13 shooting. Tough break on the tying layup with time running down.
The Suns continue to get abused from the three point line. Actually, abused isn't harsh enough of a word... maybe victimized or molested. The perimeter defense may be the tipping point that derails this season. It's going to lose them a lot of close games.
The Suns, who are 28th in field goal % allowed and 30th in three point field goal % allowed, had another effort commensurate with their ineptitude. Philadelphia shot 48.1% from the field and 47.4% from three. This is a team that's shooting 41.1% on the season. Ugh.
Goran Dragic. Everybody has off nights. This was one of his.
The whole first half. That was noxious. It was actually physically painful. It was like a snail crawling competition. If I'm going to watch two mediocre to bad teams play I think I deserve them to at least try to be entertaining. I can understand why teams like the Pistons and Spurs employed that tactic, but really? At least I can be grateful I don't have to watch that all season...
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