On the heels of their worst loss of the season, the Phoenix Suns couldn’t have responded better.
Miles Plumlee scored 22 points and grabbed 13 rebounds and Eric Bledsoe and Goran Dragic each scored more than 20 to lead the Suns past the Philadelphia 76ers, 115-101, less than 24 hours after losing to the Golden State Warriors by 29 — their largest margin of defeat this season.
Phoenix used another big first quarter to jump to an early lead, scoring 36 points in the game’s first 12 minutes. The Suns led by three at halftime, but steadily grew their lead by the time the clock wound down.
Philadelphia’s Michael Carter-Williams and Thaddeus Young combined to score 57 points, but seven of the 11 76ers that played scored less than 10 while five didn’t score at all.
The Suns were clicking offensively, thanks in large part to the best offensive game of Plumlee’s young career. His 22 points came on 10-of-14 shooting, and he added four offensive rebounds.
Bledsoe and Dragic continued to show that a dual point guard system can be effective — they combined for 41 points and nine assists — and Marcus Morris added 18 points off the bench.
Defensively, the Suns held Philadelphia to 39 percent shooting and forced 20 turnovers to the 76ers’ 19 assists. Phoenix won three of the four quarters, and three of the Suns’ starters had a +/- of better than +10.
Despite Philadelphia’s poor shooting night, three 76ers scored more than 20 points — Young, Carter-Williams and Tony Wroten. While it’s good that Phoenix limited the 76ers as a whole, letting three players go off typically isn’t a recipe for success.
STAT OF THE GAME
The Suns scored 31 fast break points while allowing just 14.
Phoenix has won nine of its eleven games since losing back-to-back contests to start December.
The Suns hit the road again on Monday, when they take on the Los Angeles Clippers at the Staples Center. Tip-off is at 8:30 p.m. and can be heard on Arizona Sports 620.