On the second night of a tough back-to-back out West the Sixers used a relentless attack, and basically a 7-man rotation to run all over the Phoenix Suns. After holding a 16-point lead with a little over 3 minutes to go the Suns made a miraculous comeback, but the Sixers were able to hold on for the 119-114 win
I started out keeping track of fast break opportunities, but after about 5 minutes I was completely absorbed by the game and lost track. Coming off a tough loss to the Warriors last night, I wasn't confident going into this one. The Suns were well-rested and the Sixers were coming off an absolute track meet in Oakland. I didn't think they'd possibly have the energy to put out that type of effort again. I was wrong, and anyone who ever doubts this team is wrong as well.
Mo Cheeks used 3 guys off the bench, but Rodney Carney only saw 5:45 of action. After playing 40 minutes last night, Andre Iguodala played 45 minutes tonight. How did he handle the situation? He put up his best offensive game of the season, connecting on 15/23 shots from the floor, including 2 threes, and finishing one point shy of his season high. He absolutely took this game over for long stretches and basically won it for the Sixers.
Andre Miller out-played Steve Nash in every facet of the game and notched a double-double, with 25 points and 12 assists. Notable among the six Sixers to finish in double figures was Reggie Evans. Mo gave Reggie the start to put a more physical guy out there to match up with Shaq and Amare Stoudemire, and Evans did not disappoint. He finished with 13 points, 13 boards and 4 steals in 38 minutes of work.
Thad and Lou put up solid games again, shooting a combined 12/18 from the floor, and Willie Green also continued his solid play.
It was a team win, and the Sixers actually performed very well in their half-court offense, which was a pleasant surprise. Phoenix is probably in some trouble out West. They don't really run with Shaq on the floor and they don't defend no matter who's on the floor. This trade is probably going to come back to bite them (maybe they should blow the team up, and send Amare to the Sixers in the offseason for cap relief). Just an idea.
Sunday is a day of rest, then it's on to Los Angeles to take on the Clippers. A win gives the Sixers a 2-1 West Coast trip with three days of rest and easier games coming up against the Sonics and Bucks.Player of The Game:
Andre Iguodala. Games like this make you think the Sixers have their superstar. He may be peaking at just the right time.Team Record:
7th place, percentage points ahead of the Nets and 2 games behind the Wizards for 6th