Sixers-Suns best and worst: Devin Booker’s dominance, backcourt struggles, foul shooting
The Suns had a great tactic against Ben Simmons, sagging away, cutting off his driving lanes, and guarding him with a center, Aron Baynes.
PHOENIX — Here is my look at some of the best and worst performances from the 76ers’ 114-109 loss to the Phoenix Suns Monday night at the Talking Stick Resort Arena.
Best performance: Al Horford had a heck of a game, but it would have been insane to give it to anyone other than Devin Booker. The Suns guard, once again, torched the Sixers, finishing with a season-high 40 points and making 15 of 19 shots. He went 3-for-4 on three-pointers and made all seven of his foul shots. This marked his fifth consecutive game against the Sixers with 30-plus points. He is averaging 38.4 points over that stretch.
Worst performance: This was a tough one. But it goes to Josh Richardson. The Sixers shooting guard missed 8 of his 11 shots en route to scoring eight points. He also had one fewer turnover (four) than assists (five) and was a non-factor on the defensive end.
Best defensive performance: This award goes to Aron Baynes on a night that Ben Simmons finished with seven steals. Four of those steals came in the first quarter, and he added one in the second quarter. But Baynes was solid in guarding Simmons. The point guard finished with a season-low six points on 2-for-8 shooting. The Suns had a great tactic against Simmons, sagging away, cutting off his driving lanes, and having him guarded by Baynes, a center. Baynes responded with a block and two steals.
Worst statistic: I had to give it to the Sixers’ making just 12 of 20 foul shots (60%). That’s a hard stat to live with in a game that wasn’t decided until the closing seconds.
Best statistic: This goes to Booker’s scoring 27 points in the second half on 10-for-12 shooting.
Worst of the worst: I had to give this to the lack of offensive production from Richardson and Simmons after intermission. They combined to miss all six of their shot attempts and scored three points in the second half. Richardson had one point in going 0-for-3 and graded out at a minus-8. Simmons scored two points in the half, missing all three of his shots and grading out at minus-3.
Best of the best: Booker reached 6,000 career points on a layup with 2 minutes, 21 seconds left in the game. At 23 years, 5 days old, he became the eighth-youngest player in NBA history to reach 6,000 points.