Green helps Suns pull away from 76ers, 112-96
PHOENIX (AP) -- Gerald Green and Markieff Morris each scored 21 points and the Phoenix Suns pulled away in the fourth quarter to beat the Philadelphia 76ers 112-96 on Friday night.
After the Suns struggling against the NBA-worst Sixers, Green hit a 3-pointer in an 11-2 run to start the fourth and Phoenix took control to snap a two-game losing streak.
Tony Wroten scored 28 points for the Sixers, who trailed 80-79 with a minute left in the third quarter. But a poor final period sent them to their 27th loss in 31 games.
There was an NBA first late in the game when Markieff and Marcus Morris played with teammates Goran and Zoran Dragic for the Suns. It was the first time two sets of brothers played for a team at the same time. Zoran Dragic scored his first NBA points late in the game, completing a three-point play off an assist from his brother.
Outside of Alex Len's career-high six blocks, the Suns played lackluster defense for much of the night to allow the NBA's worst offensive team to stay close.
The Sixers sported their 15th starting lineup combination, with Luc Mbah a Moute back at center after missing two games with a strained left calf and K.J. McDaniels at shooting guard.
It was the second start for the rookie McDaniels, as coach Brett Brown said he wanted to "try something" after rookie Jakarr Sampson had started the past five games in place of the sick Hollis Thompson.
An energized Mbah a Moute set the tone early with seven points and four rebounds in the first 4 minutes. And the Sixers' easy path to the hoop continued late in the first half when Wroten scored on consecutive drives to help erase a 10-point deficit and put Philadelphia ahead 59-57 at halftime.
The Suns built an 80-68 lead on consecutive alley-oop dunks by Green and Miles Plumlee from feeds by Eric Bledsoe. But the Sixers responded with an 11-0 run.
Two nights after an overtime loss in Oklahoma City, the Suns led by 16 points in the fourth quarter to avoid another damaging home loss to a poor Eastern Conference team and remain eighth in the West.
76ers: Michael Carter-Williams, who was 3 for 27 from the field in the previous two games, scored 17 points on 8-of-20 shooting. Philadelphia's 16 turnovers snapped a streak of 17 games without at least 17. The Sixers' 59 first-half points were a season high.
Suns: It marked the second meeting since Bledsoe said his old school, Kentucky, would beat the Sixers 4-1 in a playoff series. But unlike the first game when Bledsoe was knocked on his back by Nerlens Noel 30 seconds in, there were no incidents. "Every time we play them, probably for the rest of their careers, they're going to be jacked up for that game," Suns coach Jeff Hornacek said.
PRAYERS FOR POLLACK
Sixers director of statistical information Harvey Pollack, the only person who has worked for the NBA since its inception in 1946, was in critical but stable condition after a one-car accident Thursday in Philadelphia. The 92-year-old Pollack suffered numerous injuries and underwent hip surgery Friday.
Pollack was the scorekeeper for Wilt Chamberlain's 100-point game in 1962.
76ers: Saturday at the Los Angeles Clippers.
Suns: Host Toronto on Sunday.
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