The Phoenix Suns are the best team in the NBA and they showed it yet again. Their dominance of the Eastern Conference and on the road continued.
It was a thriller in Philly, as the Suns traded blows with a very good 76ers team and were able to secure a hard-fought win down the stretch after trailing by as many as 14 points.
Despite the 14-point deficit, being on the road in the second of a back-to-back, the Suns kept their composure and showed their resilience yet again.
- Devin Booker — 35 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, 11-23 FG
- Mikal Bridges — 23 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 9-14 FG
- JaVale McGee — 15 points, 12 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 blocks
- Joel Embiid — 34 points, 12 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals, 13-25 FG
- Tobias Harris — 30 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 13-18 FG
The Suns got off to a strong start, led by Devin Booker’s typical hot first-quarter scoring with 8 points along with the newfound consistent aggression from Mikal Bridges.
Mikal continued to show more confidence offensively, attacking the basket with a purpose as illustrated below.
Mikal stringing together a few slick plays on the offensive end. pic.twitter.com/RuimaFe3z9— Phoenix Suns (@Suns) February 9, 2022
Embiid and Harris combined for 14 of Philadelphia’s first 25 points. After the first quarter of play, the Suns led the 76ers by the score of 29-to-25.
The second quarter was a game of runs from each team, going back and forth.
Heading into the half, Phoenix trailed 59-55.
Phoenix started the beginning stages of the 3rd quarter missing a ton of “bunnies” right near the rim and wide-open looks. They looked the part of a team coming off the second night of a back-to-back to open the third.
Philadelphia took advantage of the Suns’ cold shooting and started the quarter on a 10-0 run, forcing a Phoenix timeout.
The Suns slowly crept back into it as their defensive intensity picked up a bit. They cut the lead down to 4 shortly after trailing by 14.
Chris Paul got into it with a ref, picking up a technical foul, and shortly thereafter the Suns found themselves making a run.
After trailing 69-55 in the third, Phoenix stormed back to only trail by one point (84-83) heading into the 4th and final quarter.
The Suns carried that momentum over into the 4th quarter, as the two teams battled their way to a 99-99 tie with 3:39 remaining.
A major momentum play took place with the score knotted at 99, Chris Paul drew a foul and went 1-for-2 from the line, and Jae Crowder secured the missed free-throw and kicked it back out to Paul for a three-pointer.
Lol CP— JJ Redick (@jj_redick) February 9, 2022
Seth Curry quickly answered with a three of his own leading to a Phoenix timeout by a score of 103-102 with 3:17 remaining.
Chris Paul and Devin Booker made back-to-back buckets in clutch time to extend the lead to 6, Tobias Harris quickly answered with a three-pointer to cut the deficit to three. Paul finished with 16 points and 12 assists after a slow start, though he did have an uncharacteristic 6 turnovers on the night which will drive him crazy, I’m sure.
The Suns ultimately did what they do best, which is closing games out in the clutch moments. Execution is everything.
Star of the Game
Devin Booker — 35 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, 11-23 FG, 10-11 FT, 3-9 3PFG.
vs. Milwaukee at the Footprint Center — 8 pm AZ Time.