Final - 1.27.2014 1 2 3 4 Total
Phoenix Suns 40 22 33 29 124
Philadelphia 76ers 26 28 28 31 113

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The Phoenix Suns won a messy one in Philadelphia. The Suns offset 19 turnovers and 25 personal fouls with a season high 12 blocks as well as 11 steals and a +6 margin on the glass. Gerald Green was white hot for Phoenix scoring 30 points on a mere 12 shots. Goran Dragi? was a searing second banana with 24 points of his own to go with 7 assists and 3 steals. The Suns never trailed en route to matching their season high in scoring with a 124-113 win over the Philadelphia 76ers.

The 76ers started this one looking out of sync, with a timeout after the Suns' first score that resulted in... a turnover and Gerald Green to Miles Plumlee alley-oop. The Suns for their part looked sharp on offense hitting their first six shots... all assisted! Not too shabby for the worst assisting team in the league. And even when they missed, they scored, getting points on all of their first ten possessions to race out to a 21-9 lead with over 6 minutes left in the first quarter. The streak ended with two Plumlee missed free throws but the Suns were still able to get an offensive rebound thanks to P.J. Tucker's hustle. Channing Frye missed a three-point attempt, but that hardly cooled the Suns down. After extending the lead to 36-22, the Suns got a little sloppy allowing the 76ers to score on consecutive turnovers to cut the lead to 10.

When the first quarter was done, the 76ers were shell shocked. The Suns poured in 40 points led by 12 apiece from Goran Dragic and Green, who combined to go 10-10 from the field in the quarter. My preview couldn't have been more wrong with regards Plumlee's play vs. Spencer Hawes. Miles had 8 points and 4 rebounds in 9 first quarter minutes, including a couple of authoritative put-backs over Hawes. Tristan Thompson paced Philadelphia with 7 points in the first. Overall the Suns shot 77.3% from the field for the quarter and 75% from downtown to take a 40-26 lead into the second quarter.

Markieff Morris kicked off the second quarter with a solid block and that was followed on the next possession by a sweet post move by Alex Len to go up and under for an uncontested dunk. The Suns' reserves got a little careless with the ball turning it over on 2 of their first 3 possessions in the quarter. With the back-ups on the floor, the Suns' offense cooled noticeably as they only scored 2 points in the first 3 minutes of the quarter. Philadelphia was equally cold, scoring only 2 themselves and the Suns maintained their 14 point lead. The Suns defended the rim early with 8 blocks in the first half, including an athletic sky-and-swat by none other than Ish Smith. Despite that, the 76ers were able to cut the lead to 7 halfway through the second quarter by holding the Suns to 8 points over the first 6 minutes of the period.

Once the 76ers got to within 50-43, Coach Jeff Hornacek re-inserted his starters (minus P.J. Tucker). After Evan Turner hit a pair of free throws to cut the lead to 5, Goran Dragi? and Channing Frye promptly hit back-to-back longballs followed by a Leandro Barbosa fastbreak lay-in to stretch the lead back to 13. After growing the lead to 14, Philadelphia put together a 6-0 run to end the half and the Suns took a 62-54 lead into the break. Dragi? lead all scorers in the first half with 15 points, followed by Green with 14, Markieff Morris with 8 (and 4 blocks!) and Plumlee with 8 points and 7 rebounds. For Philadelphia, Evan Turner scored 13 points for a 76ers squad struggling from the field, hitting only 40% of their shots.

The block party continued in the second half with Gerald Green denying Michael Carter-Williams and finishing on the other end with short pull-up jumper to extend the Suns lead to 10. Plumlee continued his strong play in the paint notching his 10th point and 10th rebound two minutes into the first half to collect his 10th double-double of the season. At the 9 minute mark of the quarter, Philadelphis stepped up their defensive intensity and the Suns started tripping over themselves trying to pass too much leading to a couple of turnovers. Goran Dragi? settled things down with a loooong 3 pointer, only to have Thaddeus Young answer with a wide open 3 of this own at the other end. On the possession following a nice baseline hook by Plumlee, Gerald Green spectacularly missed a dunk that somehow resulted in a technical foul on 76ers Head coach Brett Brown. Dragi? nailed the free throw to give the Suns a 75-63 lead.

Sloppy play was the hallmark of the third quarter with both teams turning it over and fouling one another multiple times. Both teams were in the bonus early in the third. The Suns' mistakes allowed the 76ers to draw within 7 before a free throw from a technical foul on Evan Turner and a couple of foul shots by P.J. Tucker allowed the Suns to get the lead back to double digits. The pace in the quarter was slowed considerably by the 22 personal fouls and 3 technicals (resulting in 31 free throws) that were called. After a strong performance (13 points, 3 rebounds, 4 blocks... numbers he would finish with) Markieff Morris had to check out of the game with 2:30 left in the 3rd period after picking up his 5th foul. More sloppy play by the Suns (11 fouls and 7 turnovers in the 3rd) resulted in a steal off a bad pass by Smith and an 8 second backcourt violation on the next play. Both resulted in scores, allowing the 76ers to cut the lead to 9 points. But for every miscue by the Suns, Philadelphia matched them and the Suns were able to take a 95-82 point margin into the final stanza.

The 4th quarter started out much like 3rd with a Thaddeus Young layup followed by a quick Lavoy Allen foul on Channing Frye. Fortunately, the next 90 seconds elapsed without any fouls called and Ish found Alex Len wide open under the rim for a dunk that allowed the Suns to extend their lead to 15. The 76ers threatened to make a run by scoring 5 unanswered points on an Evan Turner pull-up and a Spencer Hawes 3 pointer, but LB answered with a 3 of his own to put the Suns over the century mark, giving Phoenix a 102-89 lead.

And yet the Philadelphia 76ers refused to fold (or the Suns refused to put them away... take your pick). After a Plumlee lay-up pushed the Suns' lead to 15, Philadelphia scored 7 straight points to cut the lead back to single digits. After some back and forth play, Gerald Green hit what should have been a dagger at the 3:13. But Gerald wasn't content to put a stake in the heart of the Sixers. He pulled out the hammer and gave it a couple of more whacks with a drive-and-dunk and another 3 pointer to give the Suns a 118-105 lead with 1:58 remaining. The last 2 minutes were essentially the world's most boring game of keep away punctuated by yet more free throws for the Suns.

Suns fans probably would have liked to see the Suns play a tighter game and win this one going away, but as it was, the 76ers never really threatened. For all of Phoenix's turnover and foul issues, the 76ers were no better, racking up 27 fouls and 21 turnovers of their own. (For those keeping score at home, that's a brutal 52 total personal fouls in 48 minutes of play.) Phoenix was able to answer every run with one of their own. 113 points is a lot to give up, but when you also score 124 points, it's forgivable. Five Suns finished with double figures as did five 76ers. Michael Carter-Williams led the Sixers with 22 points (on 19 shots) while Evan Turner and Thaddeus Young finished with 21 apiece.

In addition to Dragi? and Green's fireworks, the Suns got fine performances from P.J. Tucker (15 points, 8 rebounds) Miles Plumlee (14 points, 13 rebounds). Alex Len flashed all sorts of potential even if his numbers were fairly pedestrian in his 14 minute cameo (6 points, 2 rebounds, 1 block).Special spark plug shout out to Ish Smith who balanced his 3 turnovers with 5 assists and TWO great blocks.

The Suns next game is at the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday, January 29 at 6:00PM Arizona time. Be sure to check out Liberty Ballers for the Philly recap of this game.

Time: 5 p.m. MST TV: FSAZ It’s been exactly four weeks since Eric Bledsoe last suited up for the Phoenix Suns. Bledsoe’s damaged meniscus put a serious kibosh on the Suns’ incredible...

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Time: 5 p.m. MST TV: FSAZ It’s been exactly four weeks since Eric Bledsoe last suited up for the Phoenix Suns. Bledsoe’s damaged meniscus put a serious kibosh on the Suns’ incredible...

[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]

Welcome to the Madhouse! Bright Side of the Sun is an amazing and diverse community and it deserves a place where the tyranny of topicality does not rule. And that's what The Madhouse is. It's Bright Side of the Sun's place to talk about whatever you want, whenever you want: trade ideas, new from around the league or why your favorite band got robbed at the Grammys. It's all fair game here. Get crazy, y'all.

The Phoenix Suns face the fast-paced Philadelphia 76ers on the second night of a back to back, trying to eclipse their entire win total in 82 games last season (25) by the 44th game of this one.

What: Phoenix Suns at Philadelphia 76ers

Where: Wells Fargo Center - Philadelphia, PA

When: 5:00PM (AZ Time)

Watch: Fox Sports AZ, NBA League Pass

Read: Get the Philly point of view over at Liberty Ballers

When the season started, the Phoenix Suns (25-18) and Philadelphia 76ers (14-30) were widely considered to be battling it out for the first overall pick in the draft. At this point, the Suns are more likely to get the first overall seed in the Western Conference playoffs as they are a shot at Julius Randle. The 76ers on the other hand are right there in the thick of the ping pong ball hunt.

The last time these two teams met, the 76ers hung tough in the first half before this Suns put them away, 115-101, with a strong second half. Thaddeus Young, Michael Carter Williams, and Tony Wroten led the way scoring 79 of Philadelphia's 101 points as leading scorer Evan Turner sat out. Young in particular gave the Suns fits, scoring 30 points on 18 shots while also pulling down 10 rebounds and snaring 4 steals. That game also featured a career night from Miles Plumlee who finished with a career high 22 points to go with 13 rebounds.

Since then, not much has changed for the 76ers. They've gone 6-9, which I suppose is better than the 8-21 pace they were on, but nothing to write home about. The Suns for their part lost Eric Bledsoe and have been playing .500 ball, winning 7 and losing 7 in the same period.

Stats:

Phoenix Suns: Offensive Rating 108.5 (8th in NBA), Defensive Rating 105.2 (13th in NBA)


FG 3PT FT Rebounds Misc
G M M A Pct M A Pct M A Pct Off Def Tot Ast TO Stl Blk PF PPG
Goran Dragic 40 34.8 6.9 14.0 49.0 1.3 3.6 36.4 4.3 5.5 77.8 1.0 2.4 3.4 6.1 2.8 1.3 0.2 2.4 19.3
Eric Bledsoe 24 33.5 6.3 13.0 48.6 1.2 3.3 35.0 4.2 5.3 78.9 0.4 3.8 4.3 5.8 3.3 1.5 0.3 2.5 18.0
Gerald Green 43 28.0 4.8 11.2 42.9 2.3 6.4 36.2 1.6 1.9 84.0 0.4 2.7 3.0 1.6 1.4 0.9 0.6 2.8 13.5
Markieff Morris 42 25.0 4.7 9.9 47.8 0.4 1.1 35.4 2.9 3.7 77.7 2.0 4.0 6.0 1.7 1.7 0.9 0.5 2.5 12.7
Channing Frye 43 28.4 4.6 10.1 45.9 2.3 5.4 42.7 0.9 1.2 76.9 1.0 4.3 5.3 1.0 1.1 0.8 0.8 3.1 12.5
Marcus Morris 43 22.1 3.5 8.2 42.8 1.3 3.4 37.2 1.6 2.0 77.9 1.2 3.1 4.3 1.0 1.2 1.0 0.3 2.1 9.9
Miles Plumlee 43 27.7 4.2 8.2 51.7 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.1 2.2 51.0 2.5 6.2 8.7 0.6 1.4 0.7 1.6 2.6 9.6
P.J. Tucker 43 30.3 3.2 7.8 41.5 1.0 2.3 41.6 1.9 2.4 78.4 2.0 4.0 6.0 1.9 1.2 1.2 0.2 2.4 9.3
Leandro Barbosa 8 21.4 3.5 9.0 38.9 0.1 1.3 10.0 1.5 2.0 75.0 0.5 1.8 2.3 2.0 1.0 0.6 0.3 1.8 8.6
Ish Smith 31 13.1 1.6 4.3 36.6 0.0 0.5 5.9 0.3 0.5 52.9 0.4 1.2 1.6 2.2 0.9 0.6 0.1 0.8 3.5
Archie Goodwin 36 10.3 1.2 3.2 38.3 0.1 0.8 10.7 0.5 0.8 66.7 0.4 1.3 1.7 0.4 0.9 0.4 0.2 0.7 3.0
Dionte Christmas 22 6.7 0.8 2.0 39.5 0.3 1.0 26.1 0.5 0.5 83.3 0.4 0.9 1.2 0.2 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.6 2.3
Alex Len 15 6.7 0.7 1.7 44.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.5 0.7 70.0 1.3 0.9 2.2 0.1 0.5 0.1 0.3 1.4 1.9
Viacheslav Kravtsov 17 3.1 0.4 0.7 58.3 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.2 0.5 50.0 0.4 0.4 0.8 0.1 0.4 0.0 0.1 0.4 1.1


Philadelphia 76ers: Offensive Rating 99.8 (29th in NBA), Defensive Rating 108.2 (23rd in NBA)


FG 3PT FT Rebounds Misc
G M M A Pct M A Pct M A Pct Off Def Tot Ast TO Stl Blk PF PPG
Evan Turner 43 35.7 7.0 16.1 43.8 0.8 2.6 29.7 3.6 4.4 82.0 1.0 5.1 6.1 3.7 3.0 0.9 0.1 2.7 18.5
Michael Carter-Williams 33 34.6 6.3 15.6 40.6 1.0 3.5 29.8 3.6 5.2 69.6 1.6 4.1 5.7 6.5 3.4 2.5 0.6 2.8 17.3
Thaddeus Young 41 33.6 7.1 15.0 47.7 0.9 2.6 33.3 2.0 2.9 70.9 2.2 4.2 6.5 1.8 1.9 2.1 0.5 2.6 17.2
Spencer Hawes 42 31.8 5.3 11.3 46.8 1.6 4.0 41.0 1.6 2.0 76.7 1.7 7.0 8.7 3.5 2.3 0.6 1.4 2.8 13.8
Tony Wroten 37 24.5 4.8 11.6 41.4 0.8 3.3 24.6 2.5 4.3 56.9 0.9 2.4 3.3 3.2 2.7 0.9 0.3 2.1 12.9
James Anderson 44 28.7 3.9 8.7 45.1 1.1 3.8 30.1 1.2 1.6 73.9 0.8 3.1 3.9 1.7 1.3 0.9 0.4 1.7 10.1
Hollis Thompson 42 21.2 2.3 4.8 47.3 0.6 1.8 35.1 0.7 1.1 68.9 1.2 2.4 3.6 0.8 0.7 0.6 0.1 1.6 5.9
Lavoy Allen 40 18.3 2.2 4.8 46.1 0.1 0.2 25.0 0.4 0.7 63.0 1.8 3.4 5.2 1.2 0.9 0.4 0.6 2.1 4.9
Elliot Williams 29 13.8 1.3 3.6 35.2 0.3 1.3 25.6 1.0 1.5 69.8 0.4 1.2 1.6 0.5 0.9 0.3 0.0 1.7 3.9
Lorenzo Brown 18 10.0 1.2 3.9 31.0 0.1 1.2 9.5 0.5 0.7 75.0 0.4 0.7 1.1 1.9 0.8 0.7 0.2 0.9 3.1
Brandon Davies 37 11.6 0.9 2.4 38.2 0.0 0.1 0.0 0.6 0.9 69.7 0.7 1.2 2.0 0.6 0.7 0.5 0.2 1.9 2.5
Dewayne Dedmon 11 9.3 0.8 1.6 50.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.5 1.0 45.5 0.6 2.5 3.1 0.3 0.5 0.0 0.5 1.4 2.1

Probable Starting Line-ups:

Suns:

F - P.J. Tucker

F - Channing Frye

C - Miles Plumlee

G - Gerald Green

G - Goran Dragi?

76ers:

F - Thaddeus Young

F - Evan Turner

C - Spencer Hawes

G - Michael Carter-Williams

G - James Anderson

Injuries:

Suns: Eric Bledsoe (Knee) - Out, Emeka Okafor (Neck) - Out

76ers: Brandon Davies (Finger) - Out, Arnett Moultrie (Ankle) - Out, Nerlens Noel (Knee) - Out

Keys to the Game:

Second Wind for a Second Win: The Suns are 4-5 in the second games of back-to-backs and this one figures to be a track meet. The 76ers don't lead the league in much, but they do lead it in pace. After spending a significant amount of energy overcoming a 20 point deficit in Cleveland last night, do the Suns have the legs to keep up with one of the only teams that runs faster than them?

Outbalance Their Balance: Like Phoenix, Philadelphia has a very balanced offensive attack. 6 players average double figures for the 76ers, led by Evan Turner with 18.5 points per game. It's a different hero every night for the Suns. Who steps up this time?

Do How You Do: This has been covered ad nauseum, but the Philadelphia 76ers are simply not a very good team. They have the 3rd worst record in the league and do almost nothing better than the Suns except tank. You can lay the jinx at my feet if the Suns lay an egg, but if Phoenix comes out and plays their game, this shouldn't be much of a contest.

Key Match-ups:

The one thing this game should have are plenty of fun match-ups in the starting line-ups. Goran Dragic and Michael Carter-Williams checking one another should be oodles of fun. P.J. Tucker will have his hands full guarding the 76ers best scorer in Evan Turner (who missed the last Suns-76ers tilt due to injury). But I think the key to this game is the Suns' bigs vs. the 76ers bigs. Spencer Hawes is playing out of his mind this season. He not only leads the team in rebounds, but is their 2nd best 3 point shooter making 41.0% on 4 attempts per game. I doubt Miles Plumlee can have his way with the 7-year veteran again. And will Channing Frye (or Markieff Morris) be able to slow down Thaddeus Young? Young terrorized the Suns in their previous match-up and his play could be the key to Philly pulling an upset.

Prediction:

I'm hoping the Cleveland Cavaliers were a wake-up call to the Suns with regards to starting strong against weaker teams on the road. I think the Suns come out focused and take an early lead, but give some of that back in a tough second half. But I'm feeling a 2-game streak heading into Milwaukee. Suns 113, Philadelphia 107.

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