Warriors Disrupt the Process, Win 135-114
The Philadelphia 76ers (6-5) rolled into Oakland looking to prove themselves against the Golden State Warriors (9-3). The 76ers are one of the youngest, and most exciting teams in the NBA, and the Warriors were riding a five game winning streak. The matchup was highly anticipated by many NBA fans, and by the players themselves. The Warriors would go on to win the game 135-114.
The first quarter was a high-energy affair, which saw both of the teams put up nice offensive numbers. The Warriors shot 50% from the field, while the 76ers shot 45.8%. Both teams went 3-7 from three, and the 76ers were doing there best to run at the same pace as the Warriors, and they were playing with a lot of intensity. The Warriors were unable to match that intensity in the opening minutes, turning the ball over 8 times in the quarter, allowing 9 points off of those turnovers. Stephen Curry also got hurt in the opening minutes, after colliding with Ben Simmons while trying to get by him on a screen. Ben Simmons’ knee drove into Steph’s thigh, and caused Curry to temporarily be removed from the game, but shortly returned. The Warriors led after the first quarter, 31-28.
The second quarter was just as intense as the first. Both teams continued to hit more than 50% of their shots. The 76ers intensity is a big reason that the game was close at the half, but another important reason is that the Warriors turned the ball over 12 times, and that allowed the 76ers to shoot 11 more shots than the Warriors. The Warriors managed to stay ahead by shooting 60% from three point range, and by making triple the amount of free throws that Philadelphia did. The 76ers did not have any player in double-digit scoring, while the Warriors have three. KD led all scorers with 20, Steph added 15, and Klay had 12 points going into the half. The Warriors led going into half, 65-64.
The Warriors exploded in the third quarter, mounting a 16-point lead and demoralizing the 76ers every step of the way. KD continued to score at will, scoring 9 points to bring his total to 29. Nick Young also provided some instant offense off the bench, going 3-3 from behind the arc. Kevon Looney also played as well as he ever has, and had 3 blocks by the time the quarter ended. The Warriors only turned the ball over 3 times in the quarter, and let their lead balloon thanks to shooting 50% from beyond the arc. The Warriors led going into the fourth, 101-85.
The fourth quarter was once again just basically the Warriors running out the clock. The bench was able to hold on and even build their lead, which led to the Warriors winning their fifth consecutive game by more than 15 points for the first time in franchise history. The Warriors finished the game shooting 57.7% overall, and 53.8% from three. The Warriors beat the 76ers 135-114.
The 76ers were able to run with the Warriors throughout the first half, and were only down by one point going into the second half, but they were simply gassed by the time the third quarter ended. The Warriors’ defense has definitely turned a corner and they have been outstanding ever since they lost to Detroit.
My biggest takeaway from this game is that the Warriors are starting to look like a championship team. They were just better than other teams until their recent winning streak, and able to win because of the amount of talent they had. Now, they can win in any way imaginable. They are looking like a complete team, with anyone able to step up and contribute at any time. Guys like Nick Young, Omri Casspi, and Kevon Looney are able to make an instant impact off the bench. The Warriors, when completely healthy, are the deepest, most complete team in the league.
I think it is also important to continue to point out how Klay Thompson is having the best season of his career. He is averaging 20.9 ppg, while shooting 51.3% from the field and 45.8% from three. His shooting percentage is a full 6 points higher than his career average of 45%. He also continues to stifle opposing players on defense, and is truly the best two-way player in the league.
Some notable stats from the game include Kevin Durant scoring 29 points on 61.1% shooting. Klay Thompson dropped 23 points while going 4-6 from beyond the arc. Draymond Green had a double-double, dropping 10 points, grabbed 10 rebounds, but also dished out 7 assists and blocked 5 shots. Nick Young was incredible off the bench, and scored 13 points on 5-5 shooting. Lastly, Kevon Looney blocked 3 shots off the bench and made his presence felt on both ends.
The Warriors play next on Monday, November 13, at home against the Orlando Magic, at 7:30 p.m.