photo from sfchronicle.com: Philadelphia 76ers’ Ben Simmons (25) is fouled by Golden State Warriors’ D’Angelo Russell (0) during the second half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2020, in Philadelphia.
By Jerry Feitelberg
It was a very emotional night Tuesday when the Warriors met the Philadelphia Sixers in a game they would lose 115-104. Kobe Bryant, who passed away on Sunday, went to Lower Merion High School in the Philadelphia Area. The teams in the NBA, the fans, and everyone who loves sports were saddened by Kobe’s and his daughter’s deaths, as well as the other seven people on the helicopter. Kobe’s high school number 33 was featured on the court. The Sixers had a 33 second moment of silence for Kobe before the start of the game.
The Sixers won the tap and kept the ball in the backcourt for eight seconds to honor Kobe. The Warriors got the ball in the forecourt, and they took a 24-second violation to remember Kobe, too.
After these emotional moments, the game started for real. The Sixers had their big center, Joel Embiid, back in the lineup. Embiid was recovering from a hand injury. Embiid changed his jersey number from 21 to 24 to honor Bryant. The Sixers had retired the number to honor Bobby Jones, who was on the 1983 NBA Championship team. Jones agreed, and Embiid was able to honor Kobe.
The Warriors gave the Sixers all they could handle for the first 36 minutes of the game. The Sixers big men, Embiid, Ben Simmons, and Al Horford, wore down the Warriors defense and put the game away in the fourth quarter to win 115-104.
The Warriors won the first quarter 27-26. They were led by Marquese Chriss, Glenn Robinson, and D’Angelo Russell. The Warriors led 27-19, but the Sixers finished the first quarter on a 7-0 run.
The Sixers regained the lead 37-34. The Sixers’ behind the Raul Neto’s hot shooting increased the lead to nine 55-46. The Warriors fought back and finished the first half trailing 59-54. Russell led the W’s with 14. Chriss had 11, Robinson, and Alec Burks each had six. The Sixers’ Neto knocked down a career-high 19 points in the first half. Joel Embiid had 13, and Tobias Harris had ten.
The Warriors won the third quarter 28-27 but still could not cut the deficit. They were down 86-82, and they were within striking distance of the Sixers. However, things fell apart in the fourth quarter. The Warriors had no answers to contain big Ben Simmons. They did an excellent job of holding him to just two points in the first half. Simmons showed the Warriors why he is an All-Star.
He drove to the basket and made several easy layups. Embiid also broke down the Warriors defense. The Sixers’ defense showed up in the fourth quarter as they held the Warriors scoreless for the first four minutes and 15 seconds of the period. Russell broke the spell when he made a three-pointer. The Sixers increased the lead to sixteen 111-95. The Warriors made a run, but it was not enough as they lost again 115-104.
Game Notes and stats- The Warriors lost for 14th time in the last 15 games and are now 10-38 for the year. The Sixers improved to 31-17.
D’Angelo Russell played well again. He finished with 28 points, five rebounds, and seven assists. Marquese Chriss had 15 points and five rebounds. Glenn Robinson added 20 points. He made three threes in five tries. Alec Burks, coming off the bench, had 12. Draymond Green just missed a triple-double with nine points, nine rebounds, and 12 assists. The Warriors shot 43% from the floor, and they made 15 threes in 40 attempts.
Joel Embiid led the Sixers with 24. Neto, who averages about four points a game, did not score in the second half to finish with 19. Simmons had 17, Harris 10, Al Horford 12 points and 11 boards. Shake Milton had 11.
The Warriors meet the Boston Celtics Thursday night in Boston. The game will start at 4 pm.