The Philadelphia 76ers finish their five-game road trip with a 3-2 record after edging the Phoenix Suns 132-127 on the road.
Joel Embiid tied his season high with 42 points adding 18 rebounds, for his 33rd double-double of the season, starring in the first half with 30 points and 14 rebounds. He became the first player to post those numbers in a half since Carlos Boozer recorded 36 points and 14 rebounds in March 2007.
Joel Embiid had 28 points and 14 rebounds in the 1st half. He's the 3rd player in the last 15 seasons with at least 28 pts and 14 reb in a half, joining Dwight Howard (Mar. 21, 2018 vs the Nets) and Carlos Boozer (Mar. 26, 2007 vs the Wizards). pic.twitter.com/50OtkHpJP3- ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) December 15, 2018
Embiid got plenty of help from Aussie Ben Simmons, who set a new season high of his own with 29 point, six assists and three rebounds, doing most of the damage at the free throw line, hitting 15-of-23. Simmons continued his aggressive play of late, with Phoenix opting for a bit of 'hack-a-Ben' sending him to the free throw line, but he made them pay.
🇦🇺 Ben Simmons sets a new season-high as the #Sixers hang on to beat the #Suns 132-127 #HereTheyCome- NBA Australia (@NBA_AU) January 3, 2019
📊 29 PTS | 6 AST | 15/23 FT pic.twitter.com/xpzouXo4Qx
JJ Redick added 27 points, including 5-of-8 from three, with the Sixers trio stepping up in the absence of Wilson Chandler and Jimmy Butler, who were both sidelined with illness.
The Sixers (25-14) led by as many as 30 points, before the Suns scored 78 second-half points, making things interesting down the stretch, however, Simmons and Redick held their nerve at the free throw line to ice the game for the 76ers.
Simmons was aggressive from the jump, scoring 13 first-quarter points, as the 76ers raced out to a 44-32 first quarter lead. They kept it up in the second, extending the lead to 23 points as the Suns shot just 3-of-23 in the second quarter.
Devin Booker led the Suns with 37 points, while DeAndre Ayton recorded 18 points and 11 rebounds and Josh Jackson 16 points.