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Game Preview: Phoenix Suns begin 4-game road trip against 76ers

The Suns will look to improve to 8-2 on the season as they battle against an Eastern Conference foe.

NBA: Philadelphia 76ers at Phoenix Suns Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

What: Phoenix Suns (7-2) vs. Philadelphia 76ers (4-6)

When: 6:00 p.m. AZ Time

Where: Wells Fargo Center — Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Watch: Bally Sports AZ, NBA TV

Listen: 98.7 FM

DraftKings Betting Lines: Suns -2, O/U 215, Suns Moneyline -140

The Phoenix Suns are set to tip off against the Philadelphia 76ers tonight at Wells Fargo Center.

Phoenix is off to an impressive start all things considered, especially when looking at how difficult their schedule was right out of the gate. The two losses to Portland were frustrating and avoidable, but it is what it is.

Philadelphia may be without star big man Joel Embiid as he has missed three straight games due to a non-COVID illness, but he could return to action Monday.

Coach Doc Rivers said the star big man practiced Sunday and has a “75 percent chance” of being available against the Suns, so it appears as though Embiid is more probable than questionable based on that designation.

Either way, the Suns will still have their hands full even with James Harden out, the 76ers have a competitive squad despite their rough 4-7 start.



  • Cam Johnson (knee) is OUT.
  • Cam Payne (foot) is questionable.
  • Duane Washington (personal) is OUT.
  • Ish Wainright (personal) is OUT.


  • Joel Embiid (illness) is questionable.
  • Danuel House Jr. (illness) is questionable.
  • James Harden (foot) is OUT.



  • Deandre Ayton
  • Torrey Craig
  • Mikal Bridges
  • Devin Booker
  • Chris Paul


  • Montrezl Harrell
  • PJ Tucker
  • Tobias Harris
  • De’Anthony Melton
  • Tyrese Maxey

What to watch for

Book being Book

Devin Booker certainly has the 76ers’ number over the years. He averages a career-best 29.7 points per game against Philadelphia in 14 career games.

Booker is on a 6-game winning streak against the 76ers and 8-6 against them all-time. Keep in mind the first six matchups or so came while Phoenix was in rebuild mode. He’s always taken his game up a notch against Philadelphia whether in Phoenix or on the road.

Big man battle?

Joel Embiid’s status is still in the air, but if he does suit up the matchup between he and Deandre Ayton will be one of the key focal points in this contest.

If Embiid can’t go, Montrezl Harrell will likely step into a larger role along with big man Paul Reed. The Suns will need their big man to step up under either scenario to either contain Embiid or take advantage of the smaller bigs in the interior.

Ayton returned this weekend from his ankle injury and posted 24 points, 8 rebounds, and 1 assist in 30 minutes on Friday against the Blazers. He followed that up by a shortened 16 minute run on Saturday where he produced 7 points, 6 rebounds and 2 blocks in limited time due to the back-to-back and comfortable Suns lead.

Stepping up for Cam J

The loss of Cameron Johnson is going to hurt the Suns, there is no question about it. Torrey Craig, Josh Okogie, Damion Lee and Dario Saric were the immediate beneficiaries on Saturday night as far as minute distribution goes.

Though the Blazers were shorthanded, Phoenix holding them to 82 points was an impressive defensive performance. It was a needed display of effort after the disappointing loss the night before.


Suns take care of business, but it won’t be without a fight from Philly.

Phoenix wins 109-106.

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