Instant Replay: Suns 124, Sixers 113

uspresswire-sixers-mcw-turner.jpg

Instant Replay: Suns 124, Sixers 113

BOX SCORE

The Sixers knew the Phoenix Suns rely heavily on their guard-oriented style and still couldn’t stop it.

The Sixers allowed guards Goran Dragic and Gerald Green to combine for 54 points in their 124-113 loss to the Suns at the Wells Fargo Center on Wednesday night.

The loss was the Sixers’ third in a row and dropped their record to 14-31.

Turning point
The Sixers had taken better care of the basketball of late, averaging 13 turnovers over their last four games.

That went out the window against the Suns. The Sixers turned it over 21 times, which led to 33 points for Phoenix.

Follow the leader
Michael Carter-Williams finished with a team-high 22 points. Evan Turner had 21 points. He was 7 of 12 from the floor and 6 of 6 from the foul line.

Thaddeus Young also had 21 points to go with three rebounds and three steals.

Green led Phoenix in scoring with 30 points on 10 of 12 shooting. Dragic scored 24 points on 9 of 13 shooting and had seven assists.

Phoenix’s starting backcourt duo was a combined 19 for 25 from the floor (76 percent), including 7 for 9 from three-point range.

Center Miles Plumlee posted his 10th double-double of the season with 14 points and 13 rebounds.

Stat-egic
The Sixers had 11 of their shots blocked in the first meeting between these two teams back on Dec. 28.

The Suns actually improved on that mark Monday night, swatting 12 Sixer shots in the game. It marked the 11th time this season the Sixers have had at least 11 shots blocked in a game.

The Suns entered Monday’s matchup averaging 4.8 blocks per game.

Take a bow
One day after scoring 27 points and grabbing a season-high 15 rebounds, Philadelphia native Markieff Morris made 5 of 7 attempts for 13 points. He also had four of those aforementioned blocks.

Morris’ twin brother, Marcus, finished with four points.

What’s next?
The Sixers play the Celtics on Wednesday in Boston, the first of four meetings between the division rivals.

The Celtics -- like the Sixers -- have struggled this season. They have a 15-31 record at this point and will face the Knicks at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday before taking on the Sixers.

Jeff Green leads Boston in scoring with 16 points per game.

Rajon Rondo has returned to the Celtics’ lineup after tearing his ACL last season. The All-Star point guard has played in five games so far, all Boston losses. He is averaging 6.6 points, 5.8 assists and 4.2 rebounds in 23.8 minutes a night.

Boston is under the direction of Brad Stevens, who is in his first year as an NBA head coach.

Now with Big3, Rashard Lewis praises Sixers' signing of former teammate JJ Redick

Now with Big3, Rashard Lewis praises Sixers' signing of former teammate JJ Redick

How time flies.

JJ Redick first played with Rashard Lewis on the Magic in 2007, Redick’s second season in the NBA. Ten years later, the 33-year-old Redick has signed a massive one-year, $23 million contract to be one of the Sixers’ leaders. Lewis, 37, is currently competing in the BIG3 league. 

Both Redick and Lewis are in different places in their careers than when they were teammates. Lewis sees Redick excelling in this new chapter. 

“He’s the veteran player here, but when I played with him in Orlando he was a young fella,” Lewis said. “He’s learned a lot playing with Orlando as well as the Clippers. I’m sure he’ll share a lot of his knowledge with these guys because they’ve got a very young team.”

Redick’s NBA insight came from doing a lot of observing early on. He didn’t start off as the main offensive option. Instead, he was a student of the game in his early days with the Magic while Lewis was one of the go-to players. 

Redick averaged just 6.0 points as a rookie and 4.1 points in 8.1 minutes per game during his second season. He clocked a total of 10 minutes during a 2008 postseason in which the Magic reached the Eastern Conference semifinals. The following season in 2009, though, Redick averaged over 20 minutes during their NBA Finals run. The Magic also made it to the Eastern Conference finals the next year.

“The chemistry we had was great,” Lewis said. “I think he’s going to bring that here to Philly.”

Over time, Redick developed into one of the best long-range threats in the league. He holds a 41.5 percent career three-point shooting percentage, sixth among all active players. The Sixers have been in need of go-to scorers, especially from beyond the arc. 

“He’s going to help this team,” Lewis said. “He’s going to open it up because he’s a shooter.”

The Sixers are entering an important phase this coming season. They finally have a foundation in place and a core to build upon for years down the road, not just the time being. The younger players will benefit from listening to Redick during practices, games, team flights, and all the other scenarios in which they can soak up his experiences. That could include the playoffs, too, in the suddenly wide-open Eastern Conference. 

“The way he played the game, he’s not only a good shooter but he’s a smart player,” Lewis said. “He has a high basketball IQ. That’s why he’s still playing in the league. A lot of teams have a lot of respect for him.”

Sixers draft pick Jonah Bolden signs 3-year deal with Maccabi Tel Aviv

Sixers draft pick Jonah Bolden signs 3-year deal with Maccabi Tel Aviv

Sixers draft pick Jonah Bolden is officially headed back overseas.

Bolden, the 36th overall selection in last month’s draft, signed a three-year contract to play in Israel with Maccabi Tel Aviv, the team announced. The deal does contain opt-out clauses for the NBA.

“Jonah is a very talented young player with great potential, an athletic forward who knows how to shoot the ball and a great guy who likes to work hard,” Maccabi Tel Aviv head coach Neven Spahija said, per the EuroLeague's official website. “We believe he will develop into a great player.”

Bolden had hoped to join the Sixers for next season after spending summer league with the squad. The 6-10, 227-pound forward averaged 8.7 points on 36.8 percent shooting from the field and 31.4 percent from three-point range between the Utah and Las Vegas Summer Leagues. He also put up 6.2 rebounds, 1.8 steals and 1.3 blocks in 23.4 minutes a game.

Bolden entered the draft after putting up 12.1 points (59.7 percent from the field, 38.1 percent from three-point range), 6.7 rebounds and 1.7 steals a game for KK FMP Beograd of Serbia last season. Those numbers earned him the Adriatic League’s Top Prospect award, previously won by Dario Saric and Nikola Jokic.

Bolden won’t be the only player on Maccabi Tel Aviv’s roster with Sixers/Philly ties. Former 2013 Sixers second-round pick Pierre Jackson and Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, native Jake Cohen are both members of the team.