Oh Brother! The Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) takes a shot against brother and Philadelphia 76ers Seth Curry (31) at Wells Fargo Bank Arena in Philadelphia on Mon Apr 19, 2021 (AP News photo)
By Jerry Feitelberg
The Golden State Warriors’ (29-29) Stephen Curry had another brilliant performance with 49 points Monday night as the Warriors stunned the Philadelphia 76ers (39-18) 107-96. The Sixers owned the best record in the Eastern Conference before the start of the game.
The Sixers are also the best squad in the NBA as they hold opponents to 108 points a game. The Sixers’ best defensive player, Ben Simmons, was not on the court Monday night. Forward Tobia Harris was not in the Sixer lineup, either.
The Warriors went with a small-ball lineup. The Warriors may not be the best defensive team in the NBA, but they know how to defend. The Sixers were looking to sweep the series as they beat the Warriors 108-98 at the Chase Center on March 23rd. Curry missed that game with a tailbone injury.
Curry, who scored 47 Saturday night in Boston, played as if his hair was on fire. Curry had his sixth game of the year with ten three-pointers. Curry tied Kobe Bryant’s NBA record of a player 33 years or older scoring 30 or more points in ten consecutive games.
Curry broke the record Monday night. Curry owns the record for most games, making ten threes with 21. It was quite a night for Curry. Warrior fans at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia were chanting MVP, MVP. Steve Kerr had this to say about Curry’s performance “There’s something beautiful about it. It really is an art,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “What he’s doing is amazing to watch. Nobody in the history of this game has ever done what he’s doing right now.”
The teams played a very tight, competitive, exciting ball game. The Sixers scored the first 12 points in the first quarter. Curry knocked down a couple of threes and finished the first 12 minutes of the game with 11 points. The teams were tied 24-24 at the end of the period.
The Warriors second unit opened up a six-point lead 39-33. The Sixers tied it at 43. The Warriors hand their hands full, trying to contain the Sixers’ big man, Joel Embiid. The Sixers were 20-2 when Embiid tallies ten or more points on free throws. The big guy uses his body to draw fouls, and the smaller Kevon Looney and Draymond Green each committed three.
The teams left the court for the halftime break tied at 55 apiece. Curry paced the Warrior attack with 20. He connected on four three in eight tries. Damion Lee, coming off the bench, had 12, Andrew Wiggins eight. Kelly Oubre, making his first appearance since missing six games with a wrist injury, had six.
In the third quarter, defense was the name of the game for each team. The Warriors outscored the Sixers 20-15. Each team had to fight to get points on the game. Neither team, except for the Sixers’ early 12-0 lead in the first quarter, could pull away.
The Warriors knew that they had to stop Embiid if they wanted to win. As usual, Steve Kerr inserted his second unit to start the fourth quarter. Green and Curry would return with about six minutes and 30 seconds left in the game. Green had four fouls on him, and he had to be careful as Embiid was going to the rim every time he got his hands on the ball.
The Second unit held its own until the Sixers went on a 12-2 run to lead 84-83. Steph was back on the floor. Curry made a three to tie the game at 86. The Sixers fought back and led 90-86. Curry made another three. The Warriors led 93-92.
Curry made another three, and Green knocked down a two-pointer to put the Warriors ahead 98-92. The Warriors’ defense put the clamps on the Sixers’ offense. The Sixers scored four points in the last three minutes and forty-two seconds of the game.
Curry made another three to make it 101-92. With the score 101-95, Curry made a sensational step-back three to put the Warriors in the driver’s seat 104-95. Curry added three more free throws to lead the Warriors to victory 107-96.
Game Notes and Stats: With the win, the Warriors are 29-29 for the year. They have won three of the four games played on the five-game road trip. The Sixers are 39-18.
Curry finished the night with 49 points, three rebounds, and five assists. He was 14-for28 from the floor, and he connected on ten threes in 17 tries. Andrew Wiggins had a double-double with 16 points and ten boards. Damion Lee had 12 points, six rebounds, and an assist.
Lee was five-for-six from the floor. He made two threes in two tries. Kevon Looney had five pints and a career-high 15 rebounds. Green’s line was eight points, six rebounds, and six assists. Kelly Oubre had nine, and Jordan Poole six.
The Warriors shot 45% from the floor. They made 14 threes in 32 attempts. They took 13 fewer shots than the Sixers. The Warriors outscored the Sixers 25-14 from the free-throw line. On defense, the Warriors outrebounded the bigger Sixers 58-49.
Joel Embiid had a double-double with 28 points and 13 rebounds. Embiid made eleven points from the charity stripe. The Sixers are now 20-3 when he scores more than 10 points from the free-throw line. Curry’s brother, Seth, tallied 15 points in the first half. The Warriors held him scoreless in the final 24 minutes of the game. Danny Green made four three for 12 points. The Sixers’ backup center, Dwight Howard, did not score. He pulled down ten rebounds.
The Warriors finish the five-game road trip Wednesday night when they face the Washington Wizards. The game will start at 4 pm.