Sixers fall to Suns 125-105 in second straight loss

Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) shoots next to Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) during the second half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, March 25, 2023, in Phoenix. The Suns won 125-105. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

The Philadelphia 76ers lost their second game straight on the road on Saturday night to the Phoenix Suns. Both James Harden (Achilles) and Danuel House Jr. (shoulder) remained out for the back-to-back. The Sixers’ record now sits at 49-25.

Similar to last night, the first quarter consisted of a whole lot of missed buckets for both teams as the Sixers went just 8-22 from the field while the Suns went 9-24. 

Embiid managed to put down a couple of and-1s, and Devin Booker was largely running the Suns’ offense early on, but it was clear both teams were on night two of a back-to-back. The first ended with the Suns narrowly ahead at 26-24.

But the Suns came alive early in the second, amping up their full-court defense and going on an early 7-0 run. Terrance Ross largely couldn’t seem to miss, and though Tyrese Maxey managed an excellent five three-pointers in the first half, the rest of the team struggled to score. Even Embiid wasn’t getting many foul calls. The Sixers came back to tie it up again, but so did Devin Booker, who made back-to-back three-pointers to stay ahead. The first half ended with the Suns remaining ahead 58-53.

Tyrese Maxey’s shooting remained essential in the second half. With Embiid exhausted and dealing with nagging calf soreness, Maxey’s speed and seemingly boundless energy was vital to keep up with Phoenix’s shooting. But a tough effort from the bench, including multiple turnovers and a brutal run from Dewayne Dedmon, proved too much. 

The third quarter ended with the Suns extending their lead to 89-83, and an early fourth-quarter run capped by a three-pointer from Terrance Ross put the Suns up 100-85. While Tyrese Maxey fought to keep them in the game, the combination of Sixers turnovers, Phoenix’s 46.9shooting from deep, and pure fatigue allowed the Suns to run away with the game in the fourth. The final score was 125-105.

Tyrese Maxey ended the game with one of the best stat lines of his career at 37 points (including 7-11 from three), seven rebounds, three assists, and a steal, while Embiid had 28 points, ten rebounds, four assists, and two blocks. The Sixers will travel to Denver to take on fellow MVP candidate Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets on Monday night at 9:30 pm.