Photo credit: nba.com/warriors
By Jerry Feitelberg
The Warriors beat the Sixers in Philadelphia Saturday night 120-117. The Warriors needed the win to stay in first place in the Western Conference. The Nuggets lost again, and the Warriors are now 1 1/2 games ahead of the Nuggets. The Warriors’ Klay Thompson was unable to play due to soreness in his knee. He suffered the injury in the game against Orlando. Kevon Looney also sat out the game with soreness in his pelvis. The Sixers were without their star center Joel Embiid. Embiid has missed his last five games due to injury. Embiid is averaging a double-double for the season with 27.3 points and 13.5 rebounds per game.
The Warriors, who have not played well in the first half in several of the last 10 games, fell behind early in the first minutes of the first quarter. They righted the ship and finished the quarter trailing 32-31. The teams swapped leads until about halfway through the second period. The Sixers were able to stop the Warriors and outscored them 35-24 to finish the first half with a 12-point lead 67-55.
The Warriors, who were running uphill in the games against Miami and Orlando, regrouped in the third quarter. Also, they had to do it with Steph Curry sitting on the bench. Curry picked up his fourth foul with just 3 minutes and 45 seconds played. Steve Kerr sent in Curry’s brother-in-law, Damian Lee to fill Curry’s shoes. Lee was the right choice as he knocked down four threes and behind the play DeMarcus Cousins and Kevin Durant, the Warriors won the third quarter 93-90.
Curry came back in the fourth quarter, and he led the Warriors to the win. He knocked down a three to give the Warriors the lead 111-109. Curry scored six points in the last 2:35 to put the Warriors ahead 120-117. The Sixers had a chance to tie the game, but they lost the ball out of bounds with 1.7 seconds left in the game.
Game Notes and Stats: With the win, the Warriors improve to 44-19. The Sixers drop to 40-23.
Kevin Durant led the Warriors with 34 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists. Cousins had 25 points and 8 boards. Curry finished with 28. Damian Lee had 12, and the rest of the Warrior bench added 15. The Warriors connected on 14 three-pointers.
Ben Simmons had his second straight triple-double with 25 points, 15 boards, and 11 assists. Jimmy Butler had 21, Tobias Harris, the ex-LA Clipper, 20, Jonah Bolden 12. Mike Scott, coming off the bench, had a big night for the Sixers with 22 and T.J>McConnell added 10.
The Warriors split the season series with the Sixers. The Sixers won in Oakland, and the Warriors returned the favor in Philadelphia.
Up Next: The Warriors return home to play the Boston Celtics Tuesday night at Oracle Arena. Game time will be at 7:30 pm.