The Golden State Warriors got their five-game road trip started on Saturday with a loss to the Philadelphia 76ers. The Warriors have dominated their way through the early portion of their schedule, taking advantage of ample home-court advantage and numerous weaker opponents. However, things will be more difficult for the Dubs over the next few weeks.
Stephen Curry needed 10 made threes to surpass Ray Allen for the all-time NBA career record for made threes, but the explosive record-breaking performance fans have been hoping for remained absent on Saturday. Steph did make three threes, setting him up to break the record in his next game or two.
Curry has been hunting threes more than usual throughout the season, especially as he’s approached the record. However, he clearly tried to counteract that trend on Saturday, driving inside the arc early. Still, he missed his first three field-goal attempts, including a wide-open mid-range jumper.
With Curry struggling from the field, the Warriors defense continued doing what it has all season, kept things close. Andrew Wiggins picked up the slack offensively, scoring 9 points in the first quarter, and the Dubs trailed just 23-22 heading into the second quarter.
The Sixers built a 38-28 lead halfway through the second quarter, but Green and Curry led a 21-8 run to close the half, giving Golden State a 49-46 lead. Green locked in defensively and led several counters in transition, bringing the Warriors within one possession. Then, after Matisse Thybulle picked up his third foul and was forced to the bench, Curry made his first two threes of the game.
Thybulle and Green picked up their fourth fouls early in the second half, leaving both coaches with difficult decisions about their best defenders. Green did a great job limiting Embiid to 1-for-8 shooting from the field in the first half, but the Sixers star center began heating up as soon as Green went to the bench.
Still, at that point, Jordan Poole began heating up from outside and helped the Warriors build a double-digit lead. However, with both Green and Curry on the bench to close the third quarter, Philadelphia went on a 9-0 run that brought the score to 73-70 heading into the fourth.
Thybulle finally knocked in a pair of threes early in the fourth quarter, and the Dubs were back playing from behind. Philadelphia could not take advantage of some ugly early-quarter offense, with several possessions ending in Andre Iguodala threes or bad turnovers.
The Sixers never let up defensively, though, and both Curry and Green failed to deliver enough scoring punch in the final quarter. With Poole and Wiggins out of the offensive action, Golden State could not build any offensive momentum. Slowly but surely, Philadelphia extended their lead, and the Dubs could not answer.
Curry finished with 18 points, 9 rebounds, and 5 assists, but was just 3-for-14 from three. Andrew Wiggins racked up 20 points while Jordan Poole recorded 23 points, mostly in the third quarter, continuing his recent hot offensive stretch.
While it doesn't make up for the #Warriors loss, Jordan Poole is now averaging 20.5 PPG, 3.9 RPG, and 3.7 APG while shooting 55.4% from two, 43.4% from three, and 90% from the free-throw line in his last 11 games.— Marc Delucchi (@maddelucchi) December 12, 2021
For a Warriors team that has relied so heavily on their depth all season, it’s notable how little help the Dubs got from their bench on Saturday. Otto Porter Jr. was the only Warriors bench player with more than one made field goal, and even he recorded just 5 points.
The Warriors will now head to Indianapolis, where they will face the Indiana Pacers on Monday, December 13th at 4:00 PM Pacific Standard Time.
If you missed the postgame Twitch stream, you can rewatch it here: