Suns dominate in romp past winless 76ers, 122-96
PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Isaiah Thomas scored 23 points and Markieff Morris had 18 to lead the Phoenix Suns past the winless Philadelphia 76ers 122-96 on Friday night.
The Sixers have lost their first 12 games and are just six losses shy of matching the 2009-10 New Jersey Nets for worst start in NBA history.
They need four more straight losses to top the 1972-73 Sixers for worst start (0-15) in team history and could challenge those 76ers as the worst 82-game season team (9-73) in NBA history.
The Sixers actually led 27-26 at the end of the first quarter until the Suns rolled toward the rout.
The Suns shot 69 percent in the first half and easily shook off the early challenge to win their third straight game.
Michael Carter-Williams led the Sixers with 18 points.
Philadelphia's Nerlens Noel needed only 30 seconds to deliver a hard message when his flagrant foul sent Eric Bledsoe crashing to the court. Bledsoe said this week he believed the top-ranked Kentucky Wildcats, where he starred, could beat the Sixers in a game. Bledsoe backtracked and said he was joking at Friday morning's shootaround, but Noel, another UK standout, obviously didn't find it funny.
Bledsoe popped right up and ran his chest into Noel. The two exchanged words and had to be separated as the crowd cheered in delight.
Perhaps fueled by Noel's early moxie, the Sixers grabbed a nine-point lead and led 27-26 at the end of the quarter.
Stick that quarter on Philadelphia's season highlight reel. There was nothing else to pick the rest of the game.
The Suns went on a 20-4 run to take control and start the latest blowout against the Sixers. The Suns scored 41 points in the second quarter. Thomas opened with a driving layup for the lead, Noel clanged both free throws and Gerald Green hit a 3-pointer to turn the game around.
Thomas and Green sparked a bench effort that saw the Suns go 14 of 17 in the half for 36 points. The Sixers scored 44 total points in the half.
Thomas made all five shots from the floor, all five free throws and was 2 of 2 from 3-point range for a flawless 17 points.
Six other Suns scored in double figures. The Suns led by as many as 34 points and made 21 of 23 free throws.
Philly's K.J. McDaniels muffed an alley-oop and had a layup waved off at the horn in the third. With the Sixers down 31 in the third, what was left of another thin crowd booed the Sixers off the court headed into a timeout.
The Suns rested their starters in the fourth. The Sixers were left hoping Saturday's game at New York will be the one that ends the winless skid.
Suns: Marcus and Markieff Morris are Philadelphia natives. Markieff Morris picked Pat's Steaks as the best in the city. ... Suns coach Jeff Hornacek did not want his first team to become the first to lose to Philly. "When you get on a streak sometimes, they're tough to break," he said. "I think our guys realize we're not one of those teams that can step on the court, show up and win a game. Anybody can beat you on any night." ... P.J. Tucker was whistled for a technical foul.
76ers: Philadelphia forward JaKarr Sampson was assigned to the Delaware 87ers of the NBA Development League. ... The 76ers haven't won since last season's finale on April 16. ... In NBA history, two teams have started 0-13; three have started 0-15; one started 0-16; two started 0-17 and the Nets were 0-18, according to STATS LLC. ... Carter-Williams, Noel and Tony Wroten started together for the first time this season.
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