It was unofficial Mo Speights night at Oracle on Monday as the Warriors prevailed over the visiting Philadelphia 76ers by a score of 123-80. Speights was simply unbelievable, recording a new career-high with 32 points on 12-of-15 shooting, all in 27 minutes off the bench. The Dubs played without Andrew Bogut or Jermaine O’Neal, but still had Stephen Curry to lead the way, who scored 23 points and dished out eight assists in the blowout victory. It was a group effort, as David Lee, Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala and Harrison Barnes all scored in double-figures. The win pushes the Warriors record to 31-21. They’ll look to close out the unofficial first half of the season on a high note when they host the defending champion Miami Heat on Wednesday in the Dubs’ final game before the All-Star break.
On Marreese Speights:
“I thought he was fabulous. He has been working extremely hard and waited for his opportunity and took full advantage of it. I’m happy for him because he deserves it. He came in and wasn’t in his best shape, but he was committed to do what he had to do to get ready and stay ready. His opportunity came tonight. I’ve said all along I believe in every one of my guys and he put together a great basketball game. I’m happy for him.”
On what Marreese Speights means to his teammates:
“Mo (Marreese Speights) is with a group of players that sometimes, after practice, will setup 3-on-3 and 4-on-4 games. They’ll get after it and trash talk and compete at a high level. Something I learned as a player whether it be 1-on-1, 2-on-2, 3-on-3 or 4-on-4 the guys that don’t play as much as the starters just to start fresh and in game condition. - guys have done that. Mo (Marreese Speights) has been dedicated to that. He’s put in the time He deserves this night because he’s put in the time. You can see the guys are genuinely happy and supportive. A funny thing that happened tonight I looked up and I saw (Ognjen) Kuzmic run past me on the bench to sub in and I hadn’t called him. I looked down at the end of the bench and I saw Bogs (Andrew Bogut), David (David Lee), (Steph) Stephen Curry basically told him I called him to sub in. Absolutely hilarious. They tried to play a trick on him. I guess another Coach would probably have said ‘get back here and sit down’ but instead I made the adjustment and made him go get Draymond (Green.)."
On Andre Iguodala:
“I thought he was great. I loved the fact that he was more aggressive offensively tonight and a night where some of the other guys didn’t have it. He carried us for a great stretch of that game by making plays. There’s no secret that is why we brought him in. The things he does night in and night out basis– can’t put a price tag on that.”
On if this was their most complete game of the season:
“It was a thing of beauty. The reason why was because that was a team that came off a bad game last night and we knew they would come in here with a lot of energy trying to make it right and we started the game the right way. We defended at a high level, we shared the basketball and we forced them into turnovers. Draymond (Green) was spectacular with his rebounding, setting screens and blocking shots. I thought the guys were aggressive Just a great win for us and a much needed win.”
On why tonight's win was important:
“We’ve struggled at times against teams we are supposed to be beat. We own that and accept that. It’s part of our development. Tonight we made the proper adjustments and handled our business and now we face the champs to close out the first half of our season.”
On getting David Lee back in the starting lineup:
“It’s good to have him back. What he means to this lineup with his ability to score and make plays. He takes pressure off the guys on the floor because even when he doesn’t have the basketball you have to pay attention to him. I wanted to make sure I didn’t extend him too much. His presence on the boards and scoring the basketball - we know we miss him.”
On the game:
“Big time win; this is the game you’re supposed to take care of at home and so to have a performance like that and dominate the game from start to finish, have guys like Mo (Speights) stepping up, coming in, career night, making an impact, not just scoring but rebounding the basketball as well. We put together pretty much, lack of a few turnovers, but a good solid performance all the way around.”
On the game:
“No question, great team win. Mo (Marreese Speights) did an unbelievable job tonight. It’s good to get some guys some playing time and I’m just happy we got the victory.”
On returning from his shoulder injury tonight:
“It did better tonight. I was glad I could go give some minutes and get my wind back a little bit for Wednesday’s game. I know we were really shorthanded tonight so that’s part of the reason I came back a little bit earlier than I thought I was going to. But I’m happy to get the win and hopefully we can end the break the right way by getting another one.”
On Speights' Big Night:
“It was like being at a great rock concert, that’s how I put it; being at some fantastic event. Just the barrage of interior, exterior moves, the creativity—not so much the passing but the shooting. He did an unbelievable job. We love Mo and Mo works his butt off so I was glad he got an opportunity tonight. He’s a guy that has worked hard all season long and I’m happy that he got a chance to go out there tonight and do what he can do; proud of him.”
On hard work in practice translating to this performance:
“I’ve been working hard the last couple days in practice so I knew one of these days it was going to happen. Coach gave me an opportunity to go out there and get extended minutes, and gave me touches, so I had to produce.”
On when he knew he was going to have a big game:
“I really never knew, I just kept going. I didn’t want to look forward because my career high was 28 and I didn’t want to keep thinking I’ve got to get 28. I just went out there and the ball kept coming to me so I kept getting opportunities to score.”
On receiving MVP chants from the fans:
“That was so funny I started laughing but at least they’ve still got trust in me. That’s always good to have fans on your side.”
CELEBRATING A LEGEND
The Warriors will come back home to host the 76ers on Monday night at Oracle Arena. This will be this season’s second and final matchup between the two teams, and the Warriors will be looking to complete the season sweep. A limited number of tickets are still available for this inter-conference matchup, and the first 10,000 fans in attendance will receive a Wilt Chamberlain Bobblehead, courtesy of Kia. GET TICKETS | WILT CHAMBERLAIN BOBBLEHEAD DETAILS
LAST TIME OUT
The Warriors didn’t have enough firepower to keep up with the Suns in Saturday’s 122-109 loss in Phoenix. Stephen Curry had 28 points and nine assists and Harrison Barnes had a big game off the bench with 23 points on 9-of-15 shooting, but a 11-2 Phoenix run in the fourth quarter proved to be the difference in the game. The Warriors, who were playing without Andrew Bogut and David Lee for the second straight game, shot better than 50 percent for the majority of the game but they had a tough time containing Goran Dragic, who had 34 points and was 6-for-7 on 3-pointers. Phoenix shot 53.8 percent from the field, out-rebounded the Warriors 45-34 and out-scored the Dubs 27-19 in the fourth quarter. GAME RECAP
BARNES HITTING A GROOVE
Even though the Warriors lost on Saturday, the team has to be encouraged by the play of Harrison Barnes. The second-year swingman has struggled for much of the season, but he certainly asserted himself with 23 points on just 15 shots on Saturday. That followed up a strong effort on Thursday in which he had 11 fourth quarter points after starting the game 0-for-6 from the field. Barnes has now gone 5-for-8 on 3-pointers over the last two games, and the Warriors certainly stand to benefit if he can be productive on a consistent basis. Particularly if David Lee is to miss a significant amount of time, the Warriors will need another reliable option on offense, and Barnes is certainly capable of becoming that weapon.
EYE ON IGUODALA
There’s no question that Andre Iguodala’s best game of the season came on November 4. He had 32 points that night, and it came against a team that had been undefeated up until that point. That team was the Philadelphia 76ers, the team that Iguodala spent the first eight seasons of his NBA career with. There would certainly be no complaints in #DubNation if he duplicated that output on Monday, but one would have to think that the Warriors would be happy to see one of the off-season’s prized pickups be a little more aggressive when he’s on the floor. The team is 9-4 when Iguodala scores in double figures and undefeated when he gets at least 20 points.
PHILADELPHIA SCOUTING REPORT
The Sixers will head into Monday’s matchup after playing Sunday night in Los Angeles. Heading into that contest, Philadelphia had lost five straight games and eight of their last nine. It has been a tough season for the 76ers, who quickly came back to Earth after winning their first three games of the season, including an Opening Night triumph over Miami. Philadelphia now has one of the worst records in the NBA and they have the second worst offensive rating (97.2 points per 100 possessions) in the NBA and the fourth worst defensive rating (106.2). Despite their struggles, they do have a dangerous trio of scorers consisting of Rookie of the Year candidate Michael Carter-Williams, Thaddeus Young and Evan Turner, all of whom are averaging better than 17 points a game. The Warriors have seen their share of struggles at home recently against teams that are perceived to be lesser opponents, but they’ll have a chance to take advantage of a team playing the back end of a back-to-back on Monday night.
GSW: Festus Ezeli (recovery from right knee surgery), David Lee (left shoulder sprain/left hip strain) and Nemanja Nedovic (left hamstring strain/right foot inflammation) are out. Andrew Bogut (left shoulder inflammation) is questionable.
PHI:Brandon Davies (Fractured Right Small Finger) and Nerlens Noel (Left Knee Injury) are out. Arnett Moultrie has been assigned to the D-League.