One benefit to the Phoenix Suns’ worst loss of the season is
that fatigue shouldn’t be a factor when they return to the court
less than 24 hours later.
The Suns will be favored to bounce back from a dismal shooting
effort and add to the woes of the visiting Philadelphia 76ers on
Phoenix (17-11) fell 115-86 at Golden State on Friday, finishing
with season lows of 36.0 percent from the field and 17.4 from
3-point range in its lowest scoring effort of the season. The Suns
averaged 109.2 points while shooting 46.7 percent overall and 43.1
on 3s during an 8-1 stretch that preceded that defeat.
The lopsided game meant that no Phoenix player logged more than
31 minutes. Coach Jeff Hornacek’s starters sat out a meaningless
“That one, it just looked like there was no way we were going to
come back and win that game so try to get some of those other guys
in,” Hornacek said.
While the Suns were getting blown out in the Bay Area,
Philadelphia (8-20) was waiting for them back in Arizona in an odd
set of circumstances. The 76ers arrived in Arizona on Thursday to
begin a five-game road stretch against Western Conference foes and
this contest will their first in exactly a week.
“We play again tomorrow night,” Hornacek said. “Philly’s been
waiting in Phoenix for us, they’ve been there for two days and
haven’t played in a week so you know they’re going to have a lot of
Phoenix should be excited about facing a Philadelphia team
allowing a league-high 111.7 points per game. The 76ers also
struggle to defend the 3, allowing opponents to shoot 38.3
“The 3-point shot has plagued us all year and transition defense
needs to be better than it has been,” Philadelphia coach Brett
This will be a challenging stretch for the 76ers, who are 1-9
against West opponents with seven straight defeats. Philadelphia
has yielded 122.6 points per game during a 1-3 stretch before its
six-day break without games.
The Suns had been 0-4 in the second half of back-to-back games
before winning their last two such contests.
They are clearly very comfortable at home, where they are
shooting 41.3 percent on 3-pointers for the NBA’s second-best mark
and have made a league-best 10.2 per game.
Sixers star Evan Turner, meanwhile, is shooting 39.5 percent on
the road compared to 48.0 at home. He turned in his worst shooting
effort last Saturday, making 2 of 15 shots for 10 points in a
116-106 defeat at lowly Milwaukee.
Rookie Michael Carter-Williams has posted consecutive
double-doubles since returning after missing seven games due to a
skin infection on his right knee. The Sixers are a more respectable
7-10 when he plays.
Phoenix reserve Gerald Green has scored 22 in each of his last
two home games and could be eager to play Saturday. Green scored a
career-high 34 points against the Sixers the last time he saw them
April 17 with Indiana.