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Phoenix Suns earn last win by knocking out opposition against 76ers

PHOENIX — The Phoenix Suns have remarkable consistency that’s the main source of a league-leading record that improved to 61-14 on Sunday after a 114-104 win over the Philadelphia 76ers.

Two stats that reflect that and applied Sunday are the Suns now at 45-0 when leading for three quarters and 44-0 when holding opponents within 110 points.

Suns goaltender Devin Booker often refers to his team being “worn out.”

Philadelphia was excellent in the first half and only trailed by four. Phoenix was most likely going to keep their level of play stable and maybe even improve. Striker Jae Crowder said the group never panics and they communicate a lot during half-time and different pockets of the game to stay on point.

The question is still whether the Suns’ opposition can sustain enough, and the 76ers couldn’t.

They lost a few steps defensively and offensive execution took a hit once James Harden’s lack of aggression reared its ugly head again, a trend in his short tenure in Philadelphia so far.

Harden was 2 of 11 from the field and the Suns particularly targeted him on defense in the third quarter, which brought the 76ers’ second-half point total to just 40 after 39 in the first quarter. 28) managed to put a few key Suns players at fault for the first half, but the danger of playing the free throw game depends on the whistle, and it bit the 76ers in the butt on Sunday.

“I think we just started defending clean and not holding the glass. … We knew we had to cut that and the second chance points and we did that,” Booker said of the game turnaround. .

Suns winger Mikal Bridges has given Harden fits this season. Harden, a 10-time All-Star, finishes the regular season with a 12-for-45 (27.6%) shooting mark in three appearances against Phoenix.

“James is the Hall of Famer, MVP, but Mikal just made it difficult for him with his length. … Mikal’s defense keeps us at home and that’s a huge weapon for us,” said l Suns head coach Monty Williams. .

The 76ers’ slight drop was enough of an opener for the Suns to lead by five with a quarter to go before extending their lead to 11 with less than eight minutes left. Philadelphia energy, affected by Harden and a Joel Embiid hobbled trying to get away an apparent ankle fit in the third quarter, dropped.

In a rare blow to the Suns’ record, it was also the case for them, leading the 76ers to an 8-0 run before Phoenix quickly reset and dominated clutch minutes again by scoring on six of his next seven possessions to wrap up the game.

“It’s tough. If we play consistently like we play for 48 minutes and leave that out of anybody’s hands, we control our own destiny,” Booker said. “We know in the 48 minutes there are going to be some ups and downs, but if we do what we do we will be in pretty good shape.

Booker had a season-high 22 points in the first quarter and finished with 35 on 13 of 22 shooting.

Chris Paul continued to look like Chris Paul in his second game since missing a month-plus, contributing 19 points and 14 assists.

Harden finished with 14 points and nine assists while Embiid had 37 points, 15 rebounds, three assists, three steals and two blocks.

Philly would have had a chance on a better shooting night, posting a 10-of-36 (27.8%) clip from 3-point range against a Suns defense that agreed to overcommit to the 76ers’ two stars and recover from shooters.

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