By: Kylan Watson
The Philadelphia 76ers were looking to rebound after getting destroyed by the Utah Jazz on Thursday night. Philly faced an offensive juggernaut in the Golden State Warriors tonight. They used a fourth quarter offensive explosion to drown the Warriors 102-93.
It did not look good early on for Philly, they were missing shots and did not have their offensive rhythm early in the first quarter. They were able to get it together as they used an early game offensive explosion to take a 10-point lead over Golden State. They took full advantage of the fact they did not have an answer for Joel Embiid. He only made seven baskets tonight, but he kept his team afloat. He scored 26-points and Golden State threw everything they had at him to keep him at bay.
Despite an offensive explosion from Joel Embiid. The Warriors were able to weather the early storm and by the third quarter they had erased Philly’s advantage. They had a 13-point lead and were threatening to run away with the game. They were led by guard Jordan Poole (23-points) and Andrew Wiggins (20-points) who combined for 43-points. The Sixers had no answers for either one of them. They were able to get what they wanted from the field. Both took full advantage of the fact that the Sixers were spending a lot of defensive energy on stifling Stephen Curry. They did an effective job of this via trapping and deploying the length of Matisse Thybulle who bothered Curry. He only scored 18-points, so those shot opportunities that he was not getting went to Poole and Wiggins. Philly was able to make sure that no one else contributed to a Warriors victory.
On Thybulle’s defensive effort on Curry, “He’s probably the best perimeter defender in the league. I think he has a chance to be defensive player of the year,” said Embiid.
When Philly needed them most, their bench unit kept them in the game. They scored 30-points in this game, and they were led by Shake Milton who scored 10-points and Philly needed all of his points. He was able to attack the basket and take full advantage of the undersized Warriors defenders. Andre Drummond had an effective game shutting off the paint and forcing the Warriors shooters into bad shots which sprung the comeback effort.
Philly was able to finally regain the lead and put the Warriors away thanks to some clutch baskets made by Embiid, Seth Curry, and Tyrese Maxey who had a late-game lay-up that put the game away. The Sixers will now prepare for a Monday night match-up with the surging Memphis Grizzlies. They will need another strong effort on the defensive end if they want to stifle the Grizzlies offensive attack. Additionally, they will need another balanced scoring night if they want to get their 16th win of the season.
On the potential of this team, “[The Warriors are] the best team in the league as far as record goes. We didn’t play well today, but we did a good enough job. We can get way better,” said Embiid.