Monday, January 24, 2011

Sixers and Suns clash at the Big House

The Phoenix Suns aim to bounce back from a disappointing loss in Detroit when they close out a five-game road trip tonight against the Philadelphia 76ers at Wells Fargo Center.

The Suns had a five-game winning streak stopped with Saturday's 75-74 setback to the Pistons at The Palace of Auburn Hills, as they were outscored by a 24-8 margin in the final moments of the game and posted less than 80 points for the first time this season. Phoenix was 62-0 in franchise history when holding teams to 80 points or less.

Steve Nash was the only starter to finish in double figures with 14 points and eight assists, while Jared Dudley provided 13 points for the Suns, who are 9-13 away from the desert this season and shot 41 percent for the game. Marcin Gortat posted his third straight double-double with 11 points and 13 rebounds in defeat, and is averaging 13.3 points and 13 rebounds in that time.

"We have to finish games, that's the bottom line," said Suns head coach Alvin Gentry. "We have to play for 48 minutes. Even though it may be the oldest cliche in the book, you can see what happens when you don't."

Vince Carter finished with nine points and is six shy of passing former Suns forward Tom Chambers for 36th on the NBA's all-time scoring list.

Philadelphia is coming off a hard-fought 96-85 victory over the Utah Jazz on Saturday, as Andre Iguodala and Lou Williams netted 22 and 20 points, respectively, to lead the way.

Elton Brand came through with 19 points and eight rebounds, while Spencer Hawes grabbed 11 boards to go along with eight points for the 76ers, who ended a two-game slide and won for the third time in five tries. The Sixers had dropped consecutive losses at Orlando and Charlotte.

"That was a really important win for us tonight, especially after the two tough losses on the road. Our guys really executed well tonight," Sixers head coach Doug Collins said.

The 76ers are 13-7 in the City of Brotherly Love this season and are in the midst of playing four of five games in south Philly. They will visit Toronto after hosting Phoenix, then will return to Wells Fargo Center for bouts versus the Grizzlies and Nuggets.

Philadelphia defeated Phoenix, 123-110, on Dec. 29 in the desert and received 25 points from Jrue Holiday in that one. Rookie Evan Turner added 23 points in a reserve role for the Sixers, who ended a three-game slide in the series. The Suns are still 12-5 in the past 17 matchups between the teams.

These two teams have split the last 10 meetings at Philadelphia.

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