Philadelphia came into this game fresh off of a big win over Memphis, in Memphis. Over the last three games, they'd also beaten Atlanta,and lost a close game to the Nets. A win tonight, and they were back at .500. Instead, they've lost ground, while Golden State improved its' position, moving into a tie for fourth in the West with Memphis.
After a choppy first six minutes to open the game the Warriors took control, and maintained it into the third quarter. We were again reminded that a 20 point lead can be vulnerable, and that for all their strengths this team has a disconcerting habit of lapsing into bad basketball when they have a lead.
Tonight the semi-collapse came in the third quarter, after building that 20 point lead. It continued into the fourth, where the game reached its' tightest point with 24 seconds left, and the Warriors up by 4. Once again, the Dubs had enough left to finish, winning by 7. David Lee scored 8 of the 16 Golden State points in the last period, and pulled down 3 of the team's 9 rebounds.
Once again the Curry/Jack/Thompson/Landry/Lee lineup provided the punch, with a 9-point advantage over the Sixers in 16 minutes. This was especially important on a night the starting lineup was at -7 in their 10 minutes on the floor.
Rebounding, again. The Dubs solidly out-rebounded Philly 52-43, although the Sixers won the boards in the fourth quarter. Biedrins again provided solid work on the boards and defensively, although his fouls did limit his minutes. So far this year, and after the last three games, he's rebounding at a rate of 13 per 36. That puts Biedrins tied for 8th among players with more than 200 minutes. But we've been down that road before. If he can consistently give us 14-17 minutes a night like the last two games, it will be a notable contribution.
David Lee back on track with another 25/12 game. At one point in the game I heard myself say "nice help D from Lee on that" and wondered what strange universe we now inhabit that such a statement could be true.
Turnovers. Somehow, despite the ridiculous 18 to 11 turnover margin, we only gave up 2 more points on turnovers than the Sixers did. Winning teams make the opposition pay for mistakes
Defensive breakdowns in the fourth quarter. The lane was wide open, without a defensive big to block the path. Golden State was out-rebounded as well. It may seem strange to talk about defensive lapses when your opponent shoots .368 for the quarter and scores 18 points ... but not when your team shoots .375 and scores 16.
David Lee had a great interview line after the game when he said "We're trying to make our own history." He seems to think they can, if they do what they know how to do. Right now, he's playing like a legitimate all-star, at the highest level of his career. After tonight, he's the Warriors leading scorer. He's ninth in scoring and fifth in rebounding in the league. No one is ahead of him in both categories. He's actually averaging 20 and 11. No one else in the NBA is doing that.