The second period was the defining quarter of the matchup where the Suns could not miss and the Sixers were buried. Phoenix regained the lead early as part of a 20-4 run stretching from the 1st quarter. As they fell behind, Carter-Williams and the rest of the Sixers became noticeably impatient forcing passes and shots on offense and gambling too often on defense. A shot by P.J. Tucker over Wroten gave the Suns a 20 point lead by the midway point of the quarter. Phoenix pushed their shooting percentage over 70% for parts of the second as Philadelphia put it three after three and only connected on 4 of 23 attempts for the game. 5 straight points from Wroten briefly cut the lead under 20 but Bledsoe answered with 5 straight points of his own. Philadelphia allowed 67 first half points and trailed by 23 at the break.
Any halftime adjustments Coach Brown tried to implement had no effect. The Suns went on another 11-1 run early in the 3rd quarter giving them a commanding 30 point lead. Nerlens Noel did not grab his first rebound until midway through the 3rd period. Philly were down 25 points entering the final period. The 76er reserves put together a small run of their own in the 4th but Phoenix still managed to "win" the final quarter.
MCW led the Sixers with 18 points, 6 rebounds, and 6 dimes but shot inefficiently (6-18FG, 6-11 FG)and had 5 of Philly's 17 turnovers. Noel, who picked up 4 first half fouls, finished with 3 points and 5 rebounds in 28 minutes. The rookie missed 4 of 5 free throw attempts and is shooting a horrific 33% for the season. KJ MCDaniels, who has shown flashes of brilliance followed by rookie mistakes, contributed with 17 points and 2 steals.
Isaiah Thomas scored a game-high23 points off the bench for Phoenix and added 8 assists and 3 steals. Markieff Morris added 18 points and Bledsoe dished out 7 assists while scoring 13 points.
The Sixers may have their best chance to grab a win against the struggling Knicks (3-10) on Saturday night.
By: Matt Ryan