LOS ANGELES (AFP) – Chris Paul scored a team high 28 points as the Phoenix Suns escaped Philadelphia with a 116-113 NBA win on Wednesday (April 21) after Joel Embiid’s desperation heave at the buzzer twice rattled off the rim.
The Suns would need all of Paul’s points and eight assists, including his final free throws 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.
Shooting guard Devin Booker added 19 points as he and point guard Paul have combined to become the best backcourt in the NBA 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 are in second place in the Western Conference.
The Sixers lost consecutive home games for the first time this season but it came as no big surprise as they were missing three of their starters Ben Simmons (illness), Tobias Harris (knee) and Seth Curry (hip).
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.
Embiid led the Sixers with 38 points and 17 rebounds. Danny Green scored 18 points, Tyrese Maxey added 14, Furkan Korkmaz put up 12 and George Hill had 11.
Booker’s long jumper with just over two minutes left gave the Suns a 109-101 lead, but a three by Korkmaz with two seconds left cut the deficit to two. Paul made one of two free throws with 0.8 seconds left for a 116-113 lead.
On the very next possession, Embiid launched his one-handed Hail Mary as time expired.
Elsewhere, Pascal Siakam scored 27 points and grabbed nine rebounds as the Toronto Raptors defeated the Brooklyn Nets 114-103 for their fourth straight win.
Kyrie Irving had 28 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists for the short-handed Nets. Bruce Brown had 21 points and 14 rebounds off the bench.