NBA Basketball

Final 1 2 3 4 Tot
Phoenix 23 40 32 35 130
Philadelphia 27 31 32 27 117
1:30 PM PT2:30 PM MT3:30 PM CT4:30 PM ET20:30 GMT4:30 1:30 PM MST3:30 PM EST0:30 UAE (+1)22:3016:30 ET3:30 PM CT19:30 , August 11, 2020
Visa Athletic Center, Reunion, Florida

Minus two stars, Sixers brace for red-hot Suns

According to STATS
According to STATS

Phoenix Suns at Philadelphia 76ers

  1. Phoenix won the first meeting between the teams this season, recording a 114-109 victory in early November. The Suns haven't gone 2-0 against the 76ers in a single season since 2014-15.
  2. The Suns are 6-0 in the bubble after their 128-101 victory over Oklahoma City on Monday. It's their first six-game winning streak since December 2014. Phoenix hasn't won seven or more straight games since a 10-game winning streak in March-April 2010.
  3. Portland ended the 76ers' three-game winning streak with a 124-121 victory on Sunday. The Sixers have had just one losing streak since the All-Star break, falling in consecutive games at the Lakers and Clippers in early March.
  4. Devin Booker (35 points) tied Walter Davis' Suns franchise record for 30-point games with his 90th against Oklahoma City on Monday. Booker has scored at least 30 points in four of his last five games.
  5. The 76ers will play without both Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid for the seventh time in the last three seasons. They're 3-3 in their first six games without them, allowing 116.2 points per game, nearly eight more than they've allowed in all other games in that time (108.4).
  6. Eleven of Philadelphia's 42 wins this season have come against teams in the second of a back-to-back, tied with the Lakers for the most such wins in the league this season. The Suns are 4-7 in the second of back-to-back games this season.
Phoenix Suns' Devin Booker dribbles the ball down court against the Indiana Pacers during the first half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Aug. 6, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Kevin C. Cox/Pool Photo via AP)

The injury-riddled Philadelphia 76ers are already without All-Star Ben Simmons, who is scheduled for surgery on his partially dislocated left kneecap.

The health of All-Star center Joel Embiid is now also in question after he injured his left ankle on Sunday in the team's three-point loss to the Portland Trail Blazers.

Embiid will not play Tuesday in the 76ers' game against the Phoenix Suns near Orlando.

Embiid's ankle looked to be trapped under the stanchion in the first quarter, and he limped to the locker room. Embiid eventually returned to the bench but never returned to the game.

"I do expect him to (play before playoffs), that's just one man's opinion," Sixers head coach Brett Brown said. "Nobody's doing cartwheels over, 'It's something severe,' but I do believe it would be good for him to play for the playoffs begin."

The Sixers (42-28), currently seeded sixth in the Eastern Conference playoff race, will turn to Josh Richardson, Tobias Harris, Al Horford and Alec Burks among others for offense.

Against Portland, Richardson led the way with 34 points while Burks added 20. Harris scored 16 and Horford had 15. With their two stars sidelined, the whole team will need to contribute in order to win.

Despite the loss, the Sixers showed resilience against a surging team such as the Trail Blazers. The Suns are another hot team that will be difficult to slow.

"I thought our guys fought," Brown said. "I really thought the spirit of the group was fantastic. We called upon many different players that I think played with a spirit and a passion that you're proud of."

Harris (right ankle soreness) and Horford (left knee soreness) are both listed as questionable.

The short-handed Sixers will be in for a daunting challenge against the surging Suns, who have won all six of their games in the bubble.

Phoenix was considered a longshot for a playoff berth in the Western Conference, but the winning streak has vaulted the team back into contention. The Suns are 32-39 and just a half-game behind Portland for ninth place and just one game behind Memphis for eighth place.

It's possible that the Suns could work into the play-in bracket and a possible playoff berth.

The Suns thumped the Oklahoma City Thunder 128-101 on Monday behind 35 points from Devin Booker. Mikal Bridges and Cameron Johnson scored 18 points each as six Phoenix players reached double figures.

"We can only control how we prepare and how we work and execute," Suns head coach Monty Williams said. "That's the deal. We're trying to put ourselves in a position to reach that ultimate goal, but we can't do that unless we take care of where we are right now."

Where they are is in position to keep their positive momentum rolling against the reeling Sixers. Booker continues to prove that he belongs among the elite players in the league.

"We said coming into this that we're fine with being an under-the-radar team, that we're going to come in here and work hard and try to get wins," Booker said.

Booker shot 9 of 17 from the field against the Thunder, including 3 of 7 from 3-point range, and knocked down all 14 of his free throws.

--Field Level Media

Updated August 11, 2020

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