Gameday: Warriors at 76ers - 3/2/13
Both teams were in desperate need for a win on Saturday night, but the Sixers walked away with the W as the Warriors fell 104-97 in Philadelphia. Stephen Curry started strong, scoring 20 points in the first half for the third time on this road trip. He finished with 30 points for his 8th 30-point game of the year on top of eight assists. Klay Thompson added 29 points, including a career-high seven three pointers. David Lee continues to lead the league with 39 double-doubles as he recorded 13 points and 16 rebounds. The Warriors have now lost four-straight games, and they'll look to turn things around when they host the Toronto Raptors on Monday night.
On what changed after the team's early start:
"We got away from who we are. We were careless, we turned the basketball over, we didn't defend at the same level. They scored 31 in the second quarter and 31 in the third quarter. They got it going after we were up 45-31. We made mistakes, let go of the rope, and we paid the price because any team in this league, when you don't put them away and allow them to gain some life, you're dealing with a different animal."
On the Sixers defendeding Stephen Curry differently in the second half:
"No, I thought Steph and Klay [Thompson] made shots, but we don't win games on the offensive end."
On teams double-teaming Curry :
"Our problem was not offensively, our problem was defensively. They scored, we turned the basketball over. So I'm not concerned with teams double-teaming him. Obviously, his numbers were impressive, so the double-team wasn't effective. Our offense is not going to win ball games. Defensively is how we got it done and taking care of the basketball, and those two things right now are hurting us."
On how the Sixers took control:
"We let them have a run in the second quarter and that closed the gap. We were up, like, 14 and then they cut it to three or four at halftime, and that kind of gave them life. Still, in the third quarter, we felt we had control of the game. They made some tough shots in the fourth quarter, contested jump shots and some dagger threes, and we missed some shots down the stretch, so this one hurts."
On a struggling team's resiliency:
"It's an NBA team, and they're talented. If they feel like they have a chance, they are going to take advantage of that, and they did that twice in a game where we worked hard to get a good lead and we thought we were in control, and they made a run."
ONE MORE FOR THE ROAD
A stretch of five road games in five states over seven days ends on Saturday when the Warriors visit the Philadelphia 76ers on the 51st anniversary of Wilt Chamberlain's 100-point game. Golden State heads into this road trip finale after losing each of its last three games, and they’ll be anxious to hit the floor for more reasons than simply ending their current skid. After Saturday’s contest, the Warriors will have just one road trip left that consists of more than one game, but before the team looks ahead to a home-heavy schedule to close out the season, they must take care of business on Saturday.
LAST TIME OUT
The Warriors struggled offensively throughout Friday’s 94-86 loss in Boston. Two days after setting the basketball world ablaze with his 54-point night at Madison Square Garden, Stephen Curry had a hard time finding the basket but still finished with 25 points and six assists. Harrison Barnes added 16 points and David Lee contributed 10 points and 19 rebounds for the Warriors, who shot 34 percent from the field and 22 percent from long distance.
A COUPLE OF NICE POINTS
Anytime Stephen Curry takes the floor, he is a player to keep an eye on, but basketball fans might want to monitor Saturday’s point guard matchup a little bit closer than they normally would. Curry and Philadelphia’s Jrue Holiday are two of the best young guards in the league and Curry has even said that Holiday is the opposing guard that gives him the most trouble. Holiday, enjoying his first All-Star season, averages 19.1 points and 8.6 assists this season and is also known for his defensive ability. He’ll be charged with slowing down Curry, who caught the league by storm this week with his 54-point outburst in New York. Curry, arguably the NBA’s best shooter, averages 22.0 points and 6.5 assists this season and will be looking to lead the Warriors to a season sweep of the 76ers after they posted a 96-89 victory back at home in December.
BREAKOUT FOR BARNES
There were not a whole lot of positives to take from Friday’s loss in Boston, but one is the play of Harrison Barnes. The seventh pick in last year’s draft was aggressive in taking the ball to the basket from the opening tip, and his effort was rewarded with 16 points and six rebounds. With experience and perhaps an offseason or two to strengthen his game, Barnes has potential to be an elite scorer at the NBA level. If he can build on Friday’s performance and become a consistent source of production, the Warriors will be much better suited to make a postseason push.
PHILADELPHIA SCOUTING REPORT
Like the Warriors, the 76ers enter Saturday’s matchup on a losing streak, only theirs is more than twice as long. Philadelphia has lost each of its last seven games, having not won since before the All-Star Break. Despite their recent results, the Sixers are still a dangerous team. Holiday, as discussed above, is turning into a star and Thaddeus Young has enjoyed great success throughout his career against the Warriors, as his 15.2 points and 7.5 rebounds are his highest averages against any NBA opponent. Keeping those two players in check will be key for the Warriors, who will be playing their final game before a seven-game homestand.
GSW: Andrew Bogut (back spasms) and Brandon Rush (torn ACL and MCL, left knee) are out.
PHI: Andrew Bynum (bilateral knee bone bruises) and Jason Richardson (left knee surgery) are out.