Sixers defeat Suns, 105-95

Thaddeus Young and coach Doug Collins during a time-out. Young came off the Sixers' bench to lead all scorers with 24.
Thaddeus Young and coach Doug Collins during a time-out. Young came off the Sixers' bench to lead all scorers with 24.
Posted: January 25, 2011

It was as if Thaddeus Young was dropping from the sky rather than rising from the court.

So soaring were Young's dunks, and so soaring were all of the 76ers' countless slams, that for much of the game your eyes were tilted upward, waiting for the ball to be caught and delivered through the hoop.

The Sixers defeated the Phoenix Suns, 105-95, Monday night at the Wells Fargo Center. They built a first-half lead, increased it in the third quarter, and maintained it in the fourth. It was something quite rare for these Sixers, who seem to be gradually familiarizing themselves with the particulars of victory.

The Sixers improved to 19-25. The Suns, who were on the final game of a five-game road trip, dropped to 20-23.

"I actually love playing in a game like this because I don't just have to bump and bang with guys under the basket all of the time. . . . That's perfect for me," said Young, who finished with 24 points on 11-for-17 shooting from the field and was freed by the Suns' free-flowing style.

"Thad Young, specifically, really stepped up and played great for us," said power forward Elton Brand, who scored 22 points. "Our bench was key."

The Sixers' bench scored 58 points and converted 25 field goals. One of those field goals, with 3 minutes, 31 seconds left in the second quarter, came during two frenzied minutes when the game looked as if there weren't any rules: no clock, no referees, no out of bounds.

Just some guys running as hard as possible and jumping as high as possible. Not surprisingly, the Sixers dominated this stretch.

With 3:31 left in the second quarter, Brand grabbed a rebound and found Evan Turner on the outlet. Turner passed ahead to Andre Iguodala, who then lofted a soft alley-oop pass to Young.

At the end of that flurry of possessions, the Sixers had turned a 47-41 lead into a 53-41 advantage.

In retrospect, that was the game's turning point.

"It was so much fun to see our guys get a defensive stop and go," said Sixers coach Doug Collins. "I mean, we had some beautiful fastbreaks: lobs, dunks, extra passes off steals. I think one - it was Dre, he gave it to Evan, a couple with Thad. The happiest guy was Thad. This was the first game he's seen like this in a while."

After leading by only 26-25 at the end of the first quarter, the Sixers extended their lead to 61-47 at halftime and 87-70 by the end of the third quarter. The team's biggest lead of the game, 22 points, was maintained for most of the fourth quarter until Phoenix scored a few unanswered buckets near game's end.

The Suns, hardly a defensive team, could not stop the Sixers in transition or in the half court, where the hosts looked remarkably precise. For the night, the Sixers scored 30 points off turnovers, collected 23 fastbreak points, and shot 54.3 percent from the floor.

"My biggest concern, actually the whole time, was I didn't want us to fall asleep with a 21-point lead," Collins explained.

They didn't.

Contact staff writer Kate Fagan at

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