Warriors Play with their Food Before they Eat it, Beat 76ers 124-116
The Golden State Warriors (11-4) flew to Philadelphia to face the 76ers (8-6). The Warriors were coming off of a loss in which they blew a 17-point lead to the Boston Celtics, and the 76ers were riding high after beating the Los Angeles Lakers behind an incredible performance from Joel Embiid, who scored 46 points, grabbed 15 rebounds, dished out 7 assists, and blocked 7 shots. The Warriors were looking to bounce back and beat the 76ers for the second time in a week. The Warriors would go on to beat the 76ers, 124-116.
The first quarter saw the Philadelphia 76ers come out of the gate blisteringly hot, and the Warriors had no interest in playing anything that could resemble defense. The 76ers shot 73.1% in the first quarter, including 66.7% from three. Robert Covington opened the game going 5-5 from beyond the arc, and led the 76ers in scoring with 15 points. The Warriors weren’t bad on the offensive end, putting up 28 points on 54.5% shooting, but they couldn’t make their shots from deep, going 1-4 on threes. Steph led the Warriors in scoring with 13 points while going 5-11. The Warriors were giving up shots in every way imaginable, and played absolutely terrible defense throughout the entire quarter. The 76ers led after the first quarter, 47-28.
The second quarter was more of the same. The Warriors managed to cut the 76ers lead to just 14 at one point, but then the 76ers exploded again. While the Sixers did slow down, at the end of the half they were still shooting 60.8% overall and 50% from deep. Four different 76ers were scored more than 13 points, while only two Warriors had more than 10 points. Throughout the entire first half, the Warriors were abysmal from three point range, going 1-9, and missing many of those shots badly, on wide-open looks. The Warriors were doing a nice job shooting from inside the arc though, so their overall shooting percentage was 50%. The Warriors continued to play poor defense, and combining poor defense with eight turnovers is a recipe for getting blown out. The Warriors’ leading scorer was Stephen Curry, with 15 points while going 5-14. At the half, the 76ers led the Warriors 74-52.
The third quarter saw the Warriors explode, and they outscored the Sixers by 32 points in the quarter. They were able to hold the Sixers to just 15 points, while putting up 47. A big part of that was Steph Curry, who was fed up with how the Warriors played in the first half. He proceeded to go 4-4 from beyond the arc and finish the third quarter with 35 points. A scary moment for the Sixers turned the tide in the game and allowed the Warriors to grab the momentum. Joel Embiid fouled Zaza Pachulia on a layup and slammed his face on the base of the hoop. The Warriors turned a 22-point deficit into a 10-point lead, and led after the third quarter, 99-89.
In the fourth quarter, the Warriors were able to keep the Sixers at bay and pull away with an eight-point win. The Warriors had their bench in for the first half of the fourth quarter, but as the 76ers began to make a couple runs, the Warriors put their starters back in the game and were able to trade baskets with the Sixers. The Warriors finished the game shooting 54% from the field, which included shooting just 30.4% from three. The Sixers cooled off after their hot start and ended up shooting 49% from the field and 34% from three. The Warriors’ leading scorer was Stephen Curry with 35 points. The Warriors beat the 76ers 124-116.
The Warriors started the game off unusually slow, and looked as if they left their ability to play defense back in Boston. While the Sixers were able to start the game off incredibly hot, the Warriors were able to score enough points in the first half to stay within striking distance, and yes, for a normal team, a 22-point deficit is not considered striking distance, but the Warriors are not a normal team. The Warriors were able to have their best quarter of the season in the third, and rode that to a win.
I didn’t really have a major takeaway from this game. The Warriors were able to come back after being down by a lot early in the game, and at this point, it’s not all that surprising. The Warriors have too much talent to lose in a shootout, and I think that teams like Houston, who rely on shooting 45 threes a game, are going to have a rough time against the Warriors down the line. I think the Warriors are the most well rounded team in the NBA, and that was demonstrated in the first half tonight. The Warriors were 1-9 from deep, but were still able to put up decent offensive numbers from inside the arc. I truly think the only way to beat the Warriors, besides getting lucky, is to rough them up like the Celtics did on Thursday.
I thought that David West had an incredible game. Throughout this whole season, he has been incredible, shooting 67.8% from the field, and he has easily been the Warriors most reliable big man. Tonight, he went 7-8 and put up 14 points in just 13 minutes.
If I could boil this game down into a one sentence summary, it would be this: The Warriors played with their food before they ate it.
The Warriors play next on Sunday, November 19, in New York against the Brooklyn Nets at 3 p.m.