Sixers-Suns: 5 things you need to know

Sixers-Suns: 5 things you need to know
January 27, 2014, 12:15 pm
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The Sixers (14-30) will attempt to end a two-game skid when they host the Phoenix Suns (25-18) on Monday night.

Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. (CSN) at the Wells Fargo Center.

Let’s take a closer look at the matchup:

1. Something’s missing
If the Sixers could be counted on for at least one thing this season, it would be to put up plenty of points with their up-tempo style. Not so much anymore.

The Sixers scored just 91 points in Saturday’s loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder and have now been held under 100 in nine of their past 11 games. They’ve averaged 94.4 points per game on 42.4 percent shooting during that span and compiled a 2-9 record.

Those aren’t the numbers the Sixers want to have coming into a matchup against a Suns team that just put together one of its best defensive efforts of the season.

The Suns held the Cleveland Cavaliers to 29 points in the second half on Sunday, including only six in the third quarter, of a 99-90 win. The Suns forced the Cavs into shooting 23.8 percent after intermission to overcome an 18-point deficit for the victory.

2. Do the running man
One way the Sixers can jumpstart their offense is by getting out and running.

They rank third in the NBA in fast-break points with 17.1 per game. The Sixers have been slightly better than that in their last three games, averaging 18.0 points a night on the break.

When the Sixers traveled to Phoenix on Dec. 28, they were outscored 31-14 on the break.

The Sixers have to prevent a repeat effort from the Suns, who average a league-high 18.7 fast-break points per game.

3. Double trouble
While Phoenix’s offensive attack starts with its guards, the Sixers will need to keep an eye on a pair of frontcourt players looking to put on a show Monday night.

Philadelphia natives Markieff and Marcus Morris will definitely be looking to have strong performances in their lone trip home this season.

The duo comes into the matchup averaging a combined 22.6 points and 10.3 rebounds on 45.3 percent shooting in 47.1 minutes a game.

Markieff Morris is coming off his best game of the season. He scored 27 points and grabbed 15 boards to lead the Suns' comeback win over the Cavs.

If they hope to walk away with the victory on Monday, the Sixers need to keep the Morris twins from giving friends and family in attendance a reason to cheer.

4. Injuries
Brandon Davies (finger), Nerlens Noel (knee) and Jason Richardson (knee) are out.

Suns starters Miles Plumlee (ankle) and P.J. Tucker (hand) suffered injuries against the Cavs on Sunday. Both were able to finish the game and should play against the Sixers.

Eric Bledsoe (knee) and Emeka Okafor (neck) are out for the Suns.

5. This and that
• The Sixers have won three of the last four against the Suns at the Wells Fargo Center.

• Evan Turner missed the first meeting between the two teams this season with a sore knee.

• The Suns are dead last in the league with 19.1 assists per game.

• The Suns had lost three straight on the road before beating the Cavs on Sunday. They are 10-11 away from home this season.

• The Sixers have allowed an opponent to record a triple-double in back-to-back games (Toronto’s Kyle Lowry and Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant). No team has let an opposing player post a triple-double in three straight games since the 1985-86 season, when the league starting tracking the feat.