PHOENIX -- The Sixers did not win two consecutive games in the month of December, and January is starting off with the same trend.
The Sixers attempted to ride the momentum of their New Year's Day victory over the Los Angeles Lakers, but were outscored by 10 points in the third quarter of a 95-89 loss to the Suns (see Instant Replay).
First quarter, Collins said when asked about the third. Their starters had 58 points in the first and third combined. We were playing uphill. We played a very fatigued game, which is disappointing and still we hung around and had a chance to win the game. The inconsistency is what just comes back to haunt us every night.
They were one step ahead of us all night, from the get-go, said Thaddeus Young, who scored 14 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. We werent playing up to our potential that we can play.
We are trying hard and trying to play our best as a team, but at the end of the day, it is no excuse for not winning games.
The Suns snapped a six-game losing streak behind a 21-point, nine-assist performance from Luis Scola. Goran Dragic was great at both ends of the floor, scoring 20 points and pestering Jrue Holiday on defense.
Holiday committed six of the Sixers 17 turnovers on a night he recorded the second triple-double of his NBA career.
I dont really even want it to be honest, Holiday said of his 16 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. I want a triple-double when we win.
I was complaining a lot and I got disappointed in myself for complaining so much. Referees see it different than we do, but they were just playing aggressive and they just stepped it up a notch.
Collins thought Holiday tried to force some passes and the head coach made his point guard aware that he should just read what the defense gives him.
We ride Jrue so much and if he gets just a little bit off, we just count on him to do so much for us, Collins said. And Dragic is tough. He gets in there and he is scrappy and tough. He makes you use a lot of energy on the defensive end and we had some moments, but it was not fun to watch.
Despite the sluggish effort, the Sixers found themselves down just two points with 2:18 remaining in the game. However, a pair of turnovers after a timeout allowed the Suns to push their lead to 91-85 and the Sixers never recovered.
I think tonight we turned the ball over when we didn't need to, Holliday said. I can say I did. And the loose balls we needed to get, we didn't do that.
A win at the US Airways Center Wednesday night would have brought the Sixers record on their current eight-game road swing to 3-3. Instead they stand at 2-4 going into the lions den of two division leaders -- Oklahoma City and San Antonio.
I know Alvin (Gentry) and those guys needed this one tonight because they had lost six in a row, Collins said. That is my great friend, but it is disappointing for us to be out on the road and have a chance to get a game like that and they were just a little more physical.
We definitely saw this as an opportunity to come in here and sneak a win and then go to Oklahoma City and San Antonio and sneak two more, Young said. It is always good to have momentum when you are going into good teams places or houses and try to beat them. But we dont have that momentum now, so we just have to find it as we go and just keep playing.
We have to forget this one and focus on the next one and that is OKC, Holiday said.
E-mail Dei Lynam at email@example.com.