NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, December 28th (All times eastern)
Philadelphia 76ers (0-1) at Phoenix Suns (0-1), 9 p.m.
(Sports Network) - Two teams coming off season-opening losses will get together tonight in the desert, where the Phoenix Suns take on the visiting Philadelphia 76ers at US Airways Center.
The Suns sustained an 85-84 loss at the buzzer on Tuesday versus the New Orleans Hornets, as Eric Gordon knocked down a jumper from the top of the key with four seconds left to lead his new team. Gordon was acquired in a deal from the Los Angeles Clippers that jettisoned Chris Paul out west.
Robin Lopez started in place of Marcin Gortat, who was limited with a broken thumb, and scored a game-high 21 points for the Suns. Steve Nash recorded a double-double with 14 points and 12 assists. Gortat, playing with a splint, scored 13 points in a losing cause.
"I think it's a tough loss, but if we keep playing with that intensity I think we'll be ok," said Lopez, who gave Phoenix a short-lived lead at 84-81 on a jump shot with 1:34 remaining.
After the Suns host the 76ers, they will play two straight and three of the next four contests as the guest. Meanwhile, Nash played in his 683rd game for the Suns, tied with Kevin Johnson for fourth-most in team history. Jared Dudley had nine points in the loss and appeared in his 185th consecutive game with the Suns, the longest streak by a Suns player since Joe Johnson had appeared in 275 straight games from 2002-05.
Dudley has not missed a game since March 6, 2009.
Philadelphia is in the midst of playing five straight road games to kick off the condensed 2011-12 schedule and is coming off Tuesday's 107-103 loss against the Portland Trail Blazers.
The Sixers didn't get their season off to a great start after a 3-13 opening a year ago. They managed to finish with a 41-41 record to reach the playoffs, but had different ideas for the 2011-12 campaign. The 76ers were down, 26-15, after the first 12 minutes of play before shaving some of Portland's lead towards the end of the final stanza.
"We dug ourselves a hole," Sixers head coach Doug Collins said. "They're a really good team. They have size and versatility."
Lou Williams came off the bench to score 25 points, while Andre Iguodala finished with 22 points, eight rebounds, four blocks and three assists for the Sixers, who committed 20 turnovers and shot 48.2 percent from the floor. Jrue Holiday had 13 points and Spencer Hawes contributed 10 points, 14 boards and nine assists.
The 76ers will also visit the Jazz, Warriors and Hornets on the swing, and won both meetings with Phoenix last season. The Suns are still 12-6 in the previous 18 matchups with Philadelphia, losers in 20 of the last 24 contests as the visitor in this series.
12/28 10:55:47 ET