After a sluggish start, the home team did what it’s done all season long.
The Sixers kept their perfect record at the Wells Fargo Center intact with a 119-114 win over the Suns Monday.
They’re now 9-0 at home and 12-7 overall.
Here are observations from the win.
• Suns rookie Deandre Ayton got the better of Joel Embiid a couple times early, but you knew it was only a matter of time before Embiid had his way. The Sixers made a concerted effort to get the ball to Embiid on the block to start off the second quarter and he made his presence felt.
The footwork on this move which gave the Sixers their first lead was excellent …
Welcome to the NBA, rook.
Embiid just keeps putting up monster numbers, finishing with 33 points and 17 boards.
• Jimmy Butler continues to help the Sixers on both ends of the floor. With a little over 30 seconds left in the first half and his team trailing, 62-53, the Suns tried a lob to former Sixer Richaun Holmes. Butler came out of nowhere to block the shot.
On the other end, it led to a four-point play by Landry Shamet.
It was a quiet night for Butler offensively (16 points on 4 of 9), but with the way Embiid was cooking, Butler appeared content to let the big man work.
• Ben Simmons was aggressive early and often, attacking the rim throughout the game.
His move in the second quarter on Trevor Ariza, an elite defensive wing, was one of the more impressive moves you’ll see by Simmons. He spun around Ariza and finished with a one-hand slam.
He finished an assist shy of a triple-double with 19 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists.
• An interesting side note tonight is that Markelle Fultz was not the first point guard off the bench in the second half. Brett Brown went to T.J. McConnell, who got a rousing ovation from the crowd.
Like earlier in the season, the move was likely made for defensive purposes. We’ll find out more after the game.
• You saw another moment where Butler and Simmons seemed to read each other on the court. Late in the second quarter with Simmons bringing the ball up in transition, he noticed Butler on the block with Jamal Crawford on him. Simmons lobbed the ball to Butler and Butler was able to draw a foul.
After his home debut, Butler mentioned that he tells Simmons to throw it up to him like a wide receiver. It’s an interesting dynamic the two are starting to develop.
• Nothing about Wilson Chandler’s numbers will impress you, but he played well. The veteran forward is doing a ton of little things on both ends of the floor. His minutes restriction was bumped to 27 tonight and he made those minutes count.
He’s truly looked better in every game he’s played. At one point in the second quarter he made a really nice move and just missed a mid-range jumper. He does have some shot creating ability, something the Sixers could use. Once he’s fully unleashed, he should be a real asset for the Sixers.
• Speaking of Sixers offseason additions, Mike Muscala continues to give the team solid minutes. With Amir Johnson continuing to struggle, Muscala came off the bench as the backup five in the second half. He finished with a season-high 19 points, nine of those from the free throw line.
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