DEVIN Booker lit up Philadelphia as the Phoenix Suns pulled off a shock 115-101 upset against the 76ers on Tuesday.Booker scored a season-high 46 points as the Suns seized control in the second quarter and never looked back to improve their record to 9-16.
Ben Simmons bounced back from his first single-figure scoring game of the season to fill the statsheet despite suffering from the flu.
The Aussie put up 20 points, eight rebounds, seven assists and six steals but could do little to stop the Booker-led visitors.
Joel Embiid contributed 22 points and 12 rebounds but was often frustrated by Tyson Chandler’s post defence while JJ Redick fired late to finish with 25 points.
TJ Warren hit 25 points to go with eight rebounds for Phoenix, which also received 12 points and 12 assists from Tyler Ulis.
Simmons hid his condition very well in the first quarter, putting up eight points, four rebounds and two assists in the opening stanza, which ended with scores tied at 28-28.
Simmons slammed home a dunk early in the piece to put the Sixers ahead, accelerating past the opposition’s lazy defence.
But it turned in the second as the Suns shot out to a 13-point lead at halftime. TJ Warren (15 points) and Booker (14 points) were scoring at will for Phoenix while Philly’s three-point specialists Robert Covington and JJ Reddick were a combined 1/11 from deep.
Simmons finished the half with 12 points, five rebounds and two assists as the 76ers trailed 60-47. Joel Embiid led the team with 14 points and seven rebounds.
Simmons made an early basket in the third but Booker hit three consecutive jumpers to take his tally to 20 and the lead to 68-53. Warren hadn’t cooled off either, reaching 19 points as the Suns maintained a 74-61 gap.
Simmons laid in two gorgeous finger roll finishes as his totals hit 20 points, eight rebounds, four assists and four steals as the Sixers stayed in touch down 89-79 with a quarter to play.
Simmons sat for the opening four minutes of the fourth, re-entering the game midway through a 7-0 push that closed the gap to 93-86.
JJ Redick caught fire to end Philly’s drought from downtown, bringing the home side within six points with seven minutes to play. Simmons stayed active, making two more steals to take his statline to 20 points, eight rebounds, six assists and six steals.
But Booker remained unstoppable, reaching 33 points with a driving lay-up that re-established a 99-91 advantage with 5:06 to go.
Redick swished his third three of the quarter to hit 25 points but Tyler Ulis answered back immediately as Philly began to run out of time.
Booker delivered the death blows, hitting a three under close attention from Reddick and following it with a steal-and-dunk to hit a season-high 41 points in Phoenix’s 110-94 lead.