The 76ers brass decided last night to sit Nerlens Noel and with K.J. McDaniels out because of injury (left ankle sprain), the Summer Sixers reserves got their chance to shine last night. Unfortunately those members on the roster shot a combined 36% from three and allowed Suns 1st round pick TJ Warren to post a double-double (28 points and 11 rebs) in a 97-88 Suns Phoenix win.
Jordan McRae paced the 7-6 with 21 points on 7-of-11 shooting and Adonis Thomas contributed 15 points. In addition to the loss, the other bad news is that McRae appeared to suffer a sprained left ankle late in the loss and he could miss Wednesday’s game.
If you watched the game, you know that it was a miracle that last night’s active Sixers roster was able to keep this game competitive. They were clearly out classed from a talent perspective and the Sixers got off to a horrific start in this one.
In addition to Warren, the Suns featured the likes of Mile Plumlee (9 pts. in 1st Q); Aaron Goodwin, Seth Curry, Tyler Ennis and Temple alum Dionte Christmas. It’s difficult to compete when your short handed on talent, but the Sixers complicated matters further with a sluggish 1st quarter that included 35% shooting from the field. The result was a 4 point Suns lead after one quarter
The Suns extended their lead in the second quarter to as many as 10 and held 48-43 lead at the half. Warren was very impressive in 2nd Q as he scored 12 points for the Suns in that stanza. McRae had 10 points for the Sixers at the break.
The Sixers opened the 3rd quarter with a 9-3 run and took a two point lead early in the quarter at 54-52. Adonis Thomas drained two 3 PAs and hit two FTs during this stretch. However after a Christmas three ball put the PHX ahead 57-56 with 5+ minutes remaining, teh suns never trailed again. The third quarter ended with the Suns coming out on top 74-71 in the final period of play. Thomas scored 13 points in the quarter for the Sixers.
The fourth quarter was all Phoenix as they built their lead to as many as 11 in the final period and coasted to the victory. The loss dropped the Sixers’ record to 1-2 in Vegas (5-3 overall this summer) which makes them the #16 seed headed in to the tournament portion of play at the NBA Summer League. They will play the Lakers summer squad on Wednesday night at 7:30pm.
For the Sixers, McRae was the story of the night. As I Tweeted during the game, he displayed a variety of offensive moves that impressed me and hit 3 of 4 from deep — inlcuding a half court swish at the halftime buzzer. Hopefully his ankle injury is not serious and McRae will get some more burn while in Sin City.
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