GRADES: Phoenix Suns 114, Philadelphia 76ers 109

The Philadelphia 76ers, on the second game of Joel Embiid’s two-game suspension suffer their first loss of the season.

Devin Booker is a fantastic scorer who boasts a 70-point performance to his resume, and yet tonight may have been his most impressive showing. Booker poured in 40 points on only 19 shots while chipping in four rebounds and three assists.

The Philadelphia 76ers had several strong performers with Furkan Korkmaz, Tobias Harris, and Al Horford combining to score 76 points. Unfortunately, their other two starters, Ben Simmons and Josh Richardson, combined for only 14 points on 19 shots.

The game was close the entire way with no team ever securing a double-digit lead. After the first half Philadelphia lead the way by five points. Entering the fourth quarter that lead had dissipated and the teams entered tied at 82-82.

In the fourth quarter, Phoenix jumped out to an early lead by as many as seven points only to see Philadelphia answer back to bring the game tied at 102-102 with 3:02 remaining. However, Booker then proceeded to score the next five points before assisting a Kelly Oubre Jr. basket that pushed the Phoenix lead to six points with just over a minute remaining. That proved to be the winning basket as time simply ran out on a Philadelphia comeback attempt.

AL HORFORD

C, Philadelphia 76ers

A

Horford got the start at Center as Embiid sat-out the final game of his suspension. Horford helped spread the floor, captained the defense, and provided playmaking as Simmons played his worst game of the year. He didn’t grab as many rebounds as expected and the defense wasn’t perfect without Embiid, but the first loss of the season won’t fall on Horford’s shoulders.

TOBIAS HARRIS

PF, Philadelphia 76ers

B

Harris contributed a double-double while being the leading rebounder and shooting 50% from the field. He also fouled out and shot only 1-6 from the three-point line while maintaining a team-worst -9 plus-minus. The game wasn’t perfect for Harris and in the team’s first loss, he gets a tough B.

FURKAN KORKMAZ

SF, Philadelphia 76ers

B+

Korkmaz rewarded coach Brett Brown’s decision to give him the start after his great game in Portland with another strong performance. The third-year guard poured in twenty points on only 13 shots, including draining four of seven from three-point range. He also contributed five rebounds. The performance was certainly stronger than expected, but he could also be pointed to as a reason why the defense didn’t perform entirely up to expectations. It was definitely a good game, but not enough to merit an A.

BEN SIMMONS

PG, Philadelphia 76ers

D+

Simmons had perhaps his worst game of the year. He scored only six points on eight shots. Also, he failed to provide the playmaking and downhill style of play that would have helped the team without Embiid. Further, Simmons committed four turnovers. This performance in a loss when the team needed him would ordinarily merit an F, but his seven steals keep him from failing his grade for the night.

JOSH RICHARDSON

SG, Philadelphia 76ers

F

Richardson went only 3-11 from the field. He had only eight points, and his five assists were nearly matched by his four turnovers. Richardson is often given the hardest guard assignment on the court. Tonight, that was Booker and a matchup that only compounds Richardson’s gaffe of a game.
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Philadelphia has become the last team to suffer a loss in the association, but will also be getting Embiid back as they head to the Utah Jazz on Wednesday looking to right the loss suffered to the hands of the upstart Phoenix Suns.

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