Dario Saric scores 27 points to help 76ers beat Suns
Philadelphia 76ers forward Dario Saric (9) blocks the shot of Phoenix Suns guard Isaiah Canaan (2) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, Dec. 31, 2017, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
By Jose M. Romero, Associated Press
PHOENIX (AP) — Dario Saric tied a season high with 27 points and the Philadelphia 76ers beat the Phoenix Suns 123-110 on Sunday night (Monday, PHL time) after blowing an 18-point lead in one quarter.
Joel Embiid added 22 points and nine rebounds, and Ben Simmons had 21 points to help Philadelphia win for third time in four games.
Devin Booker scored 28 of his 32 points in the second half for the Suns, and T.J. Warren had 28.
The Sixers came close to dropping their seventh game in which they have led by 11 points or more. But J.J. Redick made a three-pointer with 1:31 to play for an insurmountable 119-108 lead. Redick had 22 points.
Phoenix trailed 73-55 with 9:20 left in the third quarter and went on a 32-11 run to take the lead before the quarter ended.
Booker scored 16 of his points in the third as the Suns fought back with energy on both ends. Philadelphia took a 92-89 lead into the fourth quarter after Phoenix took a three-point lead, its largest of the game.
The Suns couldn't retake the lead throughout the entire fourth quarter, however, as the Sixers pulled away.
Warren made all four of his shots and scored 11 points in the first quarter. The Suns trailed by as many as 12 in the first 12 minutes, and 38-32 when it ended thanks to a 29-foot bank shot by Redick with a second to go.
Redick scored 10 of his points in the first quarter. Simmons added nine rebounds and six assists for the 76ers.
The Sixers hit their first four shots of the second quarter and took a 51-35 lead on a basket and free throw by Embiid with 8:14 to play. The Suns went three minutes of the quarter without a point and Philadelphia took a 63-49 lead into halftime after going up by 18.
Phoenix made only 6-of-21 second-quarter shots.
The Suns made 5-of-10 three-point shots in the third quarter and scored 40 points. Forward Marquese Chris had nine points, five rebounds and a blocked shot in the quarter.
RAISING THE ROOF
The Suns brought back a celebratory gesture from recent years when Chriss followed Booker's miss with a two-handed dunk with 4:39 left in the third. Players on the bench pumped both arms in the air, the jam cutting the Sixers' lead to two at 82-80.
A PHILLY CHEER
Sixers fans sitting at midcourt began a cheer as the final second ticked off, chanting "Trust the process" with a hand clap in unison.
Sixers: Embiid returned after he sat out Saturday's (Sunday, PHL time) game at Denver to rest his back. He hurt his right hand going for an inbounds pass late in the game but stayed in. ... The Sixers won consecutive games for the first time since Nov. 20-25 (Nov. 21-26, PHL time).
Suns: The Suns' 40 points in the third quarter was the second time they scored 40 or more in a quarter this season. ... F Jared Dudley saw action for the first time since Dec. 20 (Dec. 21, PHL time), a stretch of four games.
Sixers: Host San Antonio Wednesday night (Thursday, PHL time).
Suns: Host Atlanta Tuesday night (Wednesday, PHL time).