76Ers surge past Suns 103-83Posted: Updated:
PHOENIX (AP)—Philadelphia coach Doug Collins’ emphasis on starting the second half quickly paid dividends on Wednesday night.
Andre Iguodala scored 15 points to lead six players in double figures and added six assists and the Philadelphia 76ers used a 19-0 run to start the second half and routed the Phoenix Suns 103-83 on Wednesday night.
Jrue Holiday and Thaddeus Young also scored 15 each for the Sixers, who extended a 14-point halftime lead to 67-34 with 6:44 remaining.
“As an announcer I always said teams don’t warm as well after halftime as before the game,” Collins said. “I have been adamant about coming out and warming up well and trying to hit them hard the first five minutes (of the second half.)”
Ronnie Price, signed as a free agent on Dec. 13, matched a career high with 16 points, and Grant Hill and Hakim Warrick added 14 each for the Suns, who are off to a 0-2 start for the first time since 1996-97.
“What can I say? Obviously it was not what we anticipated,” Suns coach Alvin Gentry said. “It was a struggle. We just can’t afford to (lose) the first two games at home. You lose those two games and it puts you behind the eight ball right away.”
Philadelphia needed less than 90 seconds of the third quarter to stretch a 48-34 lead at halftime to 11 at 55-34 on Spencer Hawes’ steal and dunk with 10:34 to go in the period.
The 76ers’ fast start was aided by Steve Nash, who threw the ball away twice, missed a jump shot and took the blame as his teammates walked to the huddle after Gentry called time out.
“It felt like we knew we could get stops,” Iguodala said. “Offensively with all the mismatching and I got a play call that was working for us. We exploited it a couple of times and from there everybody kept getting open shots and just kept picking them apart.”
Philadelphia never missed a beat. Jodie Meeks made consecutive shots, Holiday made four straight free throws and added a pair of jump shots as the 76ers opened a 33-point lead.
“We had that six-minute period in the second half where our defense was as good as it could be,” Collins said.
Shannon Brown ended the Suns’ quarter-long scoring drought on an 18-foot jump shot with 5:48 left in the period, drawing a sarcastic cheer from the crowd.
“Collectively we are not in a good rhythm,” Hill said. “That is something usually we are pretty good at. We missed a lot of shots. We have to keep working, stay positive and those shots will come.”
Nash finished 2 of 11 from the floor with one assist, six turnovers and four fouls.
NOTES: The Sixers have won two straight in Phoenix for the first time since 1984-85. … Meeks, who scored three points in Philadelphia’s opener at Portland, finished with 12 on 5 of 8 shooting. … Phoenix’s losing streak in 1996-97 stretched to 13 games before the Suns won 40 of their last 69 to make the playoffs. … Suns forward Channing Frye had eight rebounds in eight first-quarter minutes, but sat out the entire second quarter and played only five more minutes the rest of the way. . Phoenix had two field goals over the final 5:04 of the first quarter, both by Hakim Warrick spaced nearly four minutes apart. … Sixers coach Doug Collins is 3-0 against Phoenix since taking over in Philadelphia before last season.