When: 10:00 a.m. AZ time
Where: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA
Watch: Arizona’s Family 3TV
Listen: 98.7 FM
The Phoenix Suns head to the East Coast to play the Sixers to start their three-game road trip. Coming off of two-straight close losses to the San Antonio Spurs thanks in large part to Victor Wembanyama’s late-game heroics, the Suns will look to get right against Philadelphia.
Devin Booker looks to play his second-straight game after missing three straight games due to a left ankle injury. The Kentucky product looked like himself in his first game back from injury, scoring 31 points along with nine rebounds and 13 assists going 10-19 from the field and 5-7 from three. Phoenix lost their first regular season game last night when Booker and Durant were in the lineup since KD got to the Valley in February.
With an early game across the country, the Suns will look to get back to .500 and take care of business early in the game to provide themselves with much-needed rest before facing the Pistons in 26 hours.
Devin Booker Questionable, (left ankle sprain) is QUESTIONABLE
Bradley Beal (low back spasms) is OUT
Damion Lee (right meniscus surgery) is OUT
Nicolas Batum (personal reasons) is OUT.
(via NBA LockerVision)
What to Watch For
How Jusuf Nurkić defends Joel Embiid.
The last time Nurkić faced the MVP, Embiid went for 39 points and hit the game-winning shot over the Blazers center at the time. This time around, with a stronger supporting cast and a new team, Nurkić will try to limit the superstar’s production.
How Devin Booker looks on short rest: This will be Book’s first time this year playing two straight games. The all-star looked terrific on Thursday, shooting well from the field, playmaking for others, and exceeding his minutes restriction. It will be interesting to see how he plays after a game less than two days before and a flight across the country.
Key to a Suns Win
Cohesive play throughout the contest.
On Tuesday it was about the fourth, on Thursday it was about the first quarter. If the Suns can find a way to string together strong play for all 48 minutes, their offensive firepower even without Bradley Beal playing should be too much for Philadelphia to handle.
With an early start and possible jet lag, it will likely be an uphill battle for the Suns. Even though the Sixers have less star power than Phoenix, they have more continuity, which comes in handy to start the year. The Sixers’ new players they got from the Harden trade are still getting acclimated to a team that most of its rotation players were on the team the year before. They won’t be significant keys to the game. Expect Phoenix to start sluggish and out of sorts once again as they get acclimated to being on the East Coast and to the roster having a lot of turnaround.
Sixers win 111-103.