The sad Western trip of the Philadelphia 76ers continues, losing 123-80 to the Golden State Warriors, who got a big nice out of Marreese Speights in the easiest game they’ll have all season, while Stephen Curry probably didn’t have to break a sweat against the non existent defense he faced.
First came the loss to the Clippers by 45 points, and then to the Warriors by 43. A sad looking bunch – tired and quitting from the first moment, losing by a combined 88 points in two consecutive games. The last to lose twice in a row by 40 points or more were the Sixers in the 1993-1994 season, and the combined 88 point deficit is the third in NBA history.
Someone suggested after the game that stats picked up by players against the Sixers this season shouldn’t be counted. Being the youngest team in the NBA is something of an excuse, but not enough to avoid criticism for their performances against the Clippers and Warriors, and their defense which is almost the worst in the NBA, allowing 109 points per 100 possessions. They turned the ball over 17 times, shot 36.7% from the field and only 11.8% from beyond the arc. The end to this season can’t come soon enough for them.
The reality of it is they have put in so much time and despite all the turmoil, it’s a group that’s been together, stayed together. At times, you look up and you have to keep going and keep on playing with some level of dignity, and it’s hard doing that. You just look up at the scoreboard and see a lot of points. I really don’t know. We’re in the game at one point. We were down by like 10, and then the next thing you know it popped up to like 25 or 30.
The hero of the night was Speights with 32 points, showing off against the team that drafted him in 2008. He got MVP calls from the home fans at one point, which were amusing and also a first for the Power Forward, who played more than double the minutes he usually does, impressing especially in the second quarter with 17 points, as the Warriors built a 33-point lead heading into the locker rooms.
Stephen Curry, as you might expect, thrived in this kind of game. He scored 23 points in 27 minutes, shooting 6-of-9 from beyond the arc and adding 8 assists to his 7 turnovers, not really minding the mistakes he was making considering how well things well went for them as a team, and the ease to make things happen.
The Warriors swept the season series against the 76ers for the first time since the 2007-08 season. They now share the 7th-8th spots in the West with Dallas after improving to 31-21 this season, keeping them three games ahead of the Memphis Grizzlies. Getting David Lee back sure helped (13 points, 13 rebounds) but their defense needs non other than Andrew Bogut in the lineup again, because anything less (Jermaine O’Neal or Draymond Green) isn’t good enough, especially for teams that pose a more difficult challenge than what the Sixers threw at them.