The 76ers played a very good game despite being short-handed and gave the Suns all they could handle in a dogfight from start to finish.
Devin Booker scored 8 of the final 9 points for Phoenix after struggling all game long to seal the deal. They were also a miraculous Joel Embiid heave away from overtime.
Joel Embiid was THIS CLOSE to sending it to OT in incredible fashion. pic.twitter.com/gw6eFGiml8— NBA (@NBA) April 22, 2021
Phoenix started off slow (25% FG) in the opening five minutes, falling behind 15-to-5 before a Chris Paul mid-range jumper brought them within 8 heading into the first timeout of the game. Joel Embiid scored 9 quick points in the first five minutes of action.
After the timeout, the Suns came out scorching hot hitting three triples in a row, a pair from Mikal Bridges and one from Chris Paul to tie the game.
Here is a nice two-man game from Booker and Ayton.
After the torrid start from Joel Embiid, Phoenix finally started to cool him down a bit as he missed his last three field-goal attempts before heading to the bench in the 1st quarter.
Philly took a 29-28 lead into the 2nd quarter.
In the second quarter, the teams continued to trade punches in this back and forth affair.
One of the strangest moments I’ve ever seen on a basketball court happened. A double-technical foul on Jevon Carter and George Hill for... this? I’ve seen some questionable calls in my day, but this one might take the cake. Utterly confusing.
Ah yes a double tech because Jevon...got shoved? pic.twitter.com/BJaJNnhlgD— Mike Vigil (@protectedpick) April 21, 2021
Embiid used his masterful art of foul drawing to get to the line 5 times in the first half, which also got Booker and Ayton in foul trouble to close the half and put them on the bench for a good chunk of the 2nd quarter.
At the half, the Suns were deadlocked with the 76ers at 54. Paul and Bridges led the Suns with 10 points, while Embiid led all scorers with 18 at the half.
Chris Paul took over early in the third, scoring 7 of their first 9 points in the opening minutes to build a five-point lead for the Suns which led to a Philadelphia timeout.
He also had this ridiculous pass to Mikal Bridges.
Phoenix’s defensive energy and hustle were where you’d like to see it, but Booker struggled offensively which stagnated things on that side of the floor for them and it’s why they failed to create separation after three-quarters of action.
After three, the Suns were up 77-76.
Chris Paul activated “Point God” mode in the second half, truly taking over when Phoenix needed him most. They would’ve been run out of the gym if not for Paul’s brilliant play.
Jevon Carter hit three triples in less than three minutes in the 4th, which swung the momentum in Phoenix’s favor for the first time in a while.
Jevon Carter hits a trio of 3s in under 3 minutes after looking like he was hesitating a bit earlier. He's been playing great the past two weeks.— Kellan Olson (@KellanOlson) April 22, 2021
The Point God put on an absolute clinic, just vintage Chris Paul stuff right here.
Devin Booker hit a critical pull-up jumper with 1:50 left in the game to extend the Suns lead to 8. Philly quickly responded with a 4-0 run to cut it to 4.
Phoenix closed it out thanks to some brilliant shots by Booker down the stretch including this bonkers baseline fadeaway.
and Devin Booker gets Thybulle back to put it away. nails. pic.twitter.com/aU64lhNb80— Rob Perez (@WorldWideWob) April 22, 2021
Star of the Game
Chris Paul— 28 points, 8 assists, 3 rebounds, 1 block, 10/17 FG, 0 turnovers.
Up Next: Suns @ Celtics (tomorrow)