NBA Roundup: Phoenix Suns dish out first loss for Sixers

Philadelphia 76ers v Phoenix Suns

In a game filled with season-high points from multiple players on both teams, the Suns managed to nudge a 114-109 win.

It appeared Philadelphia had begun mourning the absence of centre, lead scorer and top rebounder, Joel Embiid, who wrapped up his final of a two-game suspension for last Wednesday’s Karl-Anthony Towns brawl. 

Franchise cornerstone, Devin Booker led his team with a season-high 40 points, with Ricky Rubio adding 21 and 10 assists as yesterday’s hosts now sit comfortably at second place in the Western conference off the back off a three-game winning streak – their best seven-game start since 2013.
Aron Baynes put up 15 points and made three 3-pointers, Kelly Oubre Jr. scored 14 points, with the Suns shooting at 53.2 percent from the field.

Philadelphia still put up a challenge with Al Horford hitting a season-high 32 points and tied a career-high with five 3-pointers, Tobias Harris added 24 points and 10 rebounds, and Furkan Korkmaz contributed a career-high 20 points for the Sixers.

Following their first loss of the season, the 76ers drop to second place in the East, behind the Miami Heat.


Rockets 107, Grizzlies 100

Following a humiliating defeat at the hand of the Miami Heat, Houston put on a bounce-back show against Memphis last night.

James Harden led the way, bringing back the energy and passion missing from Sunday night’s defeat, he put up 44 points with 10 rebounds and six assists. In the absence of Russell Westbrook, Eric Gordon and Danuel House Jr. totalled 31 points combined to bring a competitive edge on offence.

But it was the Rockets’ second-half defence that put a stop to Memphis’ points, with them making just 3 of 25 three-pointer attempts. Harden’s own deep three saw Houston shut down the game nine points up and with 1.38 draining away on the clock.

The Grizzlies’ game was tarnished by technical after technical, Jae Crowder picked one up late in the game after he took a shot to the groin from James Harden. Crowder was then ejected for confronting Rockets guard Ben McLemore despite Harden taking the swipe to start with. Harden was later handed a flagrant after video review. 

Memphis Grizzlies v Houston Rockets

Kyle Anderson and Dillon Brooks also picked up technical fouls in the final two minutes for the Grizzlies. Harden made 2-of-3 technical free throws down the stretch to cement Memphis’ point deficit as they racked up a total of five techs by the end of the night.

Despite their foul trouble, it was yet again Ja Morant who stood out after the dust settled, with a team-high 23 points, adding five rebounds and six assists along the way for the Grizzlies. The rookie sensation helped Memphis maintain a pace that Houston simply struggled to match as they committed several turnovers that resulted in a 62-60 deficit by halftime.

A four-game road trip for the Rockets ends at 2-2 as they return home to take on Golden State tomorrow.

Further takeaways from last night's NBA:

Bucks 134, Timberwolves 106

The Bucks controlled from the tip last night... once they actually got going after almost an hour's delay to the fixture due to a faulty rim. Leading by as many as 32 points, Milwaukee grabbed a firm hold on their third straight win to put a positive spin on the beginning of their four-game Western Conference road trip. 

Giannis Antetokounmpo hit the team-high from all angles with 34 points, 15 rebounds and six assists. But it was Eric Bledsoe who opened up the game with a 22-foot jumper, part of an 11-point first quarter for the point guard. Bledsoe wrapped up the night with a season-high 22 points on 8 of 14 shooting to go with nine rebounds and six assists. 

Milwaukee Bucks v Minnesota Timberwolves

Antetokounmpo got into a little foul trouble at the close of the second with two being called in under a minute, the latter a result of Jordan Bell moving into his path to take the charge. After a review by the officials, they determined the foul came before time expired and put two-tenths of a second back on the clock. However, Budenholzer called a timeout to challenge the ruling of a charge call, where the refs overturned their original ruling, issuing a blocking foul to Bell and awarding Antetokounmpo the and-one.

By the end of the night, Milwaukee's three-star players -- Antetokounmpo, Middleton and Bledsoe -- had combined for 82 points on 31 of 48 shooting along with 27 rebounds and 16 assists, logging no more than 27 minutes each. 

Warriors 127, Trail Blazers 118

It was Golden State rookie Eric Paschall who delivered a knockout performance last night in the Warriors' first home win of the season. He hit a key three with 4:05 remaining to wrap up the night with 34 points and 13 rebounds. Things are beginning to look more positive for the injury-plagued Warriors who have to rely on a younger lineup to lead the way. 

Portland Trail Blazers v Golden State Warriors

The Blazers weren't without their own achievements as Damion Lillard hit his fourth 30-point performance in the first seven games with 39 points on 15-for-26 shooting, five of which were 3-pointers. Blazers centre Hassan Whiteside added 22 points and 11 rebounds.

Nets 135, Pelicans 125

Wizards 115, Pistons 99

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