Philadelphia (24-14) closes its four-game Western Conference road trip Wednesday night when it takes on Phoenix (9-29) at Talking Stick Resort Arena.
The Sixers, who have won two of their first three games on the trip, are coming off of a 119-113 win over the Clippers at STAPLES Center Tuesday night. After missing one game with a sore knee, Philly's All-Star centre Joel Embiid returned to action against the Clippers and led the way with 28 points, 19 rebounds and three blocks. 2018 Rookie of the Year Ben Simmons flirted with a triple-double as he finished the night with 14 points, nine rebounds and eight assists.
Two other Sixers starters finished scoring in double figures as JJ Redick finished with 18 points while Jimmy Butler scored 16 points before his night ended early with an ejection. In total, six players finished in double figures for Philadelphia, who connected on 12 of its 26 3-point attempts (46.2 percent).
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While the Sixers boast a top-10 scoring offence, the Suns rank in the league's bottom-five in scoring defence and defensive rating. In the first meeting, Philadelphia earned a 119-114 home win despite 37 points from Suns guard Devin Booker. If Phoenix is to earn a win over Philadelphia, it will likely be in a high-scoring affair.
The Suns, who are on the fourth game of a seven-game homestand, enter the night having lost three straight. While they were at home, the losses came at the hands of each of the West's top three teams. Most recently, Phoenix suffered a 23-point loss at the hands of Golden State on Monday night.
Although the Suns are on a losing skid, they have been playing good basketball over the past 10 games - the team is 5-5 over that span. The three-headed monster of Devin Booker (28.4 ppg), T.J Warren (21.9 ppg) and 2018 No. 1 overall pick Deandre Ayton (20.3 ppg) have paced Phoenix's offence in the past 10 games, an encouraging sign for the future. Kelly Oubre, who was acquired three games into the 10 game stretch, has averaged 11.7 points through his first seven games as a Sun.
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The second and final meeting between Philadelphia and Phoenix provides plenty of intrigue, as there are a number of layers to the matchup.
First, there is the battle between centres Deandre Ayton and Joel Embiid, who have engaged in lighthearted - and slightly serious - banter. There's also Mikal Bridges, who was selected by the Sixers with the 10th overall pick in the 2018 draft before being traded to the Suns. Finally, there's Devin Booker, who is averaging 38.3 points in his last three meetings with the Sixers, including a 46-point outburst last season.
With plenty of storylines to follow, you can catch the action on NBA League Pass Wednesday night at 9:00 p.m. ET.
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