The Phoenix Suns were already down Cameron Johnson entering this contest, so losing Chris Paul is far from ideal.
The veteran point guard left midway through the 2nd quarter with an apparent heel injury and did not return. We’ll learn more about the exact severity of the injury in the following hours.
It was a rough start for the Suns, and while they showed some fight, ultimately the Sixers' hot start and three-point shooting were able to pull them away.
Georges Niang hit a career-high 7 three-pointers and Joel Embiid had 33 points in the victory for Philadelphia.
The Suns were unable to capitalize on a rough shooting night from Tyrese Maxey (4-for-18), but Philly’s defense and role players elevated their game to make up for that along with James Harden’s absence.
Devin Booker — 28 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 steal on 8/16 FG.
Cam Payne — 14 points, 5 assists, 2 rebounds on 6/12 FG.
Joel Embiid — 33 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists on 8/21 FG.
Georges Niang — 21 points, 4 rebounds, 2 steals on 7/11 FG.
The first quarter was a rough one, as the Sixers brought the energy, and Phoenix’s shooting went ice cold.
Joel Embiid was also living at the free throw line early, attempting 8 free throws in his first 12 minutes of play.
Devin Booker had 7 points on 3-of-7 FG, and Ayton went for 6 points, and 2 rebounds in the first quarter.
The Sixers had an 11-3 advantage in free throw attempts in the opening period which also did not help with Phoenix’s cold shooting.
The second quarter wasn’t much prettier for the Suns’ offense as the game flow seemed rather stagnant.
Book is true to this, not new to this. pic.twitter.com/pMr6iOnRT8— Phoenix Suns (@Suns) November 8, 2022
Cam Payne injected a bit of life in the second with a few tough buckets when they needed them desperately, including a huge three to cut the lead down to 9.
Book ➡️ Bizzy ➡️ BRIDGES pic.twitter.com/RTCmlw0Kmh— Bally Sports Arizona (@BALLYSPORTSAZ) November 8, 2022
Phoenix finished with eight assists in the first half, which was a season-low for the Suns.
All things considered, Phoenix was lucky to enter the half only trailing by nine.
Halftime: PHI 56, PHX 47— Gerald Bourguet (@GeraldBourguet) November 8, 2022
Booker: 14 Pts, 5 Reb, 4-11 FG
Payne: 9 Pts, 4-6 FG
Bridges: 9 Pts, 3-6 FG
Embiid: 18 Pts, 6 Reb, 4-11 FG
Chris Paul injured his right heel in the second quarter and was ruled out for the remainder of the game, inserting Cam Payne into the starting unit.
Chris Paul will not return in tonight's game due to right heel soreness https://t.co/TqNRlg1NTN— Kellan Olson (@KellanOlson) November 8, 2022
The third quarter was the Devin Booker show, as he started to catch fire both from the field and by earning shots at the charity stripe.
The Suns battled back to cut the lead down to 4 points with 1:09 remaining in the 3rd. The chippy play between the clubs had things heating up on both ends.
Damion Lee hit a massive three after drilling a pair of free throws to cut the Sixers' lead to 3. The defensive tenacity he played with also forced a couple of key turnovers to aid the Suns' run to close the quarter.
It was a 4-point advantage in the 3rd quarter for Phoenix. The Suns trailed 75-70 entering the 4th and final quarter.
Georges Niang shot the absolute lights out in the second half and Phoenix defenders were fairly slow to get the memo that he was hot as they failed to close out on him time and time again.
Georges Niang now has 7 3-pointers. The Phoenix Suns still have 6 3-pointers.— Gerald Bourguet (@GeraldBourguet) November 8, 2022
That tweet says it all. Death by Niang is not how most of us expected this to go.
It was a tough night. On to the next one.
Star of the Game
28 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 steal on 8/16 FG.
@ Minnesota on Wednesday at 6:00 pm