PHOENIX -- The 76ers could have used Evan Turner.
Michael Carter-Williams did his best. So did Thaddeus Young and Tony Wroten. But Turner's absence was felt Saturday night inside US Airways Center, and it contributed to an all-too-familiar result: a road loss. This time, it was a 115-101 setback to the Phoenix Suns.
For the Sixers (8-21), it was their 13th consecutive road loss, and ninth overall setback in 10 games. Meanwhile, the Suns (18-11) have won nine of their last 11.
Turner and his team-leading 19.3 points-per-game average were sidelined due to right knee soreness. In the swingman's absence, Elliot Williams got his first career start. The 6-foot-5 guard, who signed with the Sixers on Nov. 20, struggled. He finished with zero points while missing all five of his shot attempts, including three from three-point range.
Young, Carter-Williams, and Wroten tried to take up the slack.
Young had a game-high 30 points and 10 rebounds. The power forward made 4 of 7 three-pointers. Carter-Williams, the rookie point guard, finished 27 points, 6 rebounds, and 6 assists. Wroten added 22 points from his backup point guard spot.
Their efforts enabled the Sixers to keep battling back. But the Suns eventually pulled away in the fourth quarter.
Turner sat out Saturday morning's shootaround. At the time, coach Brett Brown said the fourth-year veteran would play against the Suns.
"After shootaround, we assessed his injury a little bit, and it's nothing severe. It's my decision," Brown said. "Evan would want to play tonight. I think that when you sit down and talk to the trainer and you really listen to Evan that it is not wise for me to play him."
Turner injured his knee in the Sixers' last game, a 116-106 setback at Milwaukee on Dec. 21.
This was just the fifth game the fourth-year player has missed during his career.
Miles Plumlee led Phoenix with a career-high 22 points on 10-for-13 shooting. He also finished with 13 rebounds. Guards Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe added 21 and 20 points respectively. Philadelphia native Marcus Morris finished with 18 points in a reserve role.
At one point, early on, it appeared that the Suns would coast to a lopsided victory.
Phoenix went on a 10-0 run to build a 29-20 cushion with 2 minutes, 49 seconds left in the first quarter. The Suns also had a nine-point cushion (36-27) at the end of the quarter. Then they led by eight (55-47) with 2:54 left in the half.
But like they've done most of the season, the Sixers battled back and closed the gap to 60-59 at the break.
Then Carter-Williams' jumper with 11 minutes, 8 seconds left in the third gave the Sixers their first lead (62-60) since late in the first quarter.
But the Suns later responded with a 15-4 run that gave them a 78-69 lead midway through the quarter.
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