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Tyrese Maxey, Sixers address struggles in loss to Suns to begin trip

For the Philadelphia 76ers to have any type of success on this current 4-game road trip to the West Coast, they will need Tyrese Maxey to play at an All-Star level at this moment to pick up a few wins.

That wasn’t the case on Wednesday in a 115-102 loss to the Phoenix Suns. Maxey struggled mightily for just six points on 3-for-13 shooting. The star guard had a tough time finding any type of rhythm and he missed all four of his attempts from deep.

“I just couldn’t get in rhythm,” he told reporters after the loss. “I missed some easy ones. I missed a lot of open 3s. There was this one time, they literally forgot to guard me walking down the court and I missed it. It is alright. I will bounce back and shake back. No worries. I mean, I have been playing pretty well so, I was due for one.”

The biggest issue on Wednesday was the second quarter. The Sixers were outscored by the Suns 39-24 as Phoenix took advantage of the short-handed Sixers. The Suns drilled 10 triples in the first half, eight in the second quarter, and Philadelphia just couldn’t respond after that.

“A lot of it I blame on the offense. I thought we took a lot of quick shots,” coach Nick Nurse added. “They weren’t awful but they weren’t good enough. They’re always the ones that–they were OK as long as you make some, but we ended up missing about four straight 3s. We’re playing in transition and we’re not playing very well in transition defensively and I thought in the first quarter we had the game the way we wanted it, barring the offensive rebounding, but that kind of was a sign of the night I thought.”

It was just a weird night for the Sixers. They forced the Suns into a lot of misses in the opening quarter, but Phoenix grabbed 12 offensive rebounds for 11 second-chance points and Philadelphia wasn’t able to keep them off the glass from there. The Sixers were out-rebounded 55-40 on the night.

“We just didn’t seem to be moving with the energy we needed to be,” Nurse added. “Reacting the way we needed to be. The offensive rebounding you see me talk about, you’ve got to be in or out. Well, we were in, but we just weren’t getting back out enough. We certainly know they can devastate you from 3 and we talked about trying to limit their attempts tonight and we just couldn’t get it done.”

Throw in the struggles of Maxey and it makes for a tough night.

“They were still trying to put two on the ball so, I was just trying to get into the paint and get out the ball easy and give guys some shots,” Maxey added. “I think I did. We went on a little run in the third quarter. I couldn’t get it going. It is going to be tough for us to win that way.”

The Sixers will face the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday to continue the trip.

Story originally appeared on Sixers Wire