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Suns escape Embiid heave

Agence France-Presse



DEVIN Booker and the Phoenix Suns book a thrilling 116-113 win over the Philadelphia 76ers. / Jesse D. Garrabrant/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

LOS ANGELES (AFP) — Chris Paul scored a team-high 28 points as the Phoenix Suns escaped Philadelphia with a 116-113 win on Wednesday after Joel Embiid’s 85-foot desperation heave at the buzzer rattled off the rim.

The Suns would need all of Paul’s points and eight assists, including his final free throw because Embiid’s one-handed toss — almost the full length of the court — hit the backboard then bounced off the front and the back of the rim before falling away as time expired.

“When I threw it, it looked good,” Embiid said.

Shooting guard Devin Booker added 19 points as he and point guard Paul have combined to become the best backcourt in the National Basketball Association this season, giving the Suns the right mix of youth and experience to make a deep run through the postseason.

Phoenix improved to 42-16 on the season and is in the second place in the Western Conference.

The Sixers lost consecutive home games for the first time this season but it came as no huge surprise as they were missing three of their starters Ben Simmons (illness), Tobias Harris (knee) and Seth Curry (hip).

“I know we got a lot of guys out, but we still want to win the game,” 76ers coach Doc Rivers said.

The Suns on the other hand have been the best road team in the league, steamrolling their way through opponents by winning six of their last seven games on the road.

Mikal Bridges had 18, Cameron Johnson contributed 15 points and DeAndre Ayton tallied 10 for the Suns.