PHILADELPHIA (AP)—There was Chris Webber sitting on the bench, boos serenading Philadelphia’s impact player and the Sixers trailing by double digits to woeful Golden State.
This was not what Webber and the Sixers expected not even two weeks ago when his acquisition was supposed to take them from the fringe of the playoffs to Eastern Conference contenders.
For the third straight game, Webber was basically a non-factor for the Sixers. The five-time All-Star acquired in a stunning trade deadline deal again sat out long stretches of minutes, including the last 4:38 of the third quarter, and was booed when he was in the game.
He finished with eight points on 3-for-12 shooting in 30 minutes.
“This is Philadelphia, the toughest place in the world,” said Allen Iverson, who scored 33 points with a franchise-record 12 turnovers. “I told him what to expect. I let him know they would expect him to be like the Chris Webber he was.”
After averaging 36.3 minutes in 46 games for the Sacramento Kings, Webber reached 30 minutes for the first time in three games. Webber even met with coach Jim O’Brien on Monday to clear the air about his lack of playing time.
They may need another meeting.
Webber said before Tuesday’s game that he was used to negativity and controversy surrounding him wherever he plays. He said he would like to make this situation work, but was tired already of answering questions about how well he’ll fit in.
“I want to make the best of the rest of the time I have here,” he said. “I’m still a great player. I’m not going to ever get used to playing 27 minutes a game. It’s something we’ll address after the season. Right now our goal is to make the playoffs.
“I thought I was to coming into a situation where I would be utilized as the player that I was.”
Webber was out of the locker room before it opened and not available for postgame comments. O’Brien defended Webber and blamed the loss on fatigue and poor defense.
“I believe Chris is a very confident guy and will find his stride here real soon,” O’Brien said.
“We kept making shots, getting stops and never really let them go on a big run to let the crowd get into it,” Dunleavy said.
The Sixers played their sixth game in eight days, with all the games played as back-to-backs. They went 3-3 during the stretch. They had 25 turnovers and the rough schedule was likely a factor.
“This was a very lethargic, poor effort,” O’Brien said.
Webber failed to reach double-digit scoring for only the second time this year, and first since getting six points against San Antonio on Jan. 23.
Webber was booed a few times during the game—only about a week and a half since he was introduced to thunderous applause during his home debut—once after an errant bounce pass went out of bounds and again when he came back into the game about 2 minutes into the fourth quarter.
“Obviously, C-Webb sees what’s going on and it can only get worse,” Iverson said. “It’s not his fault. It’s all our fault. He’ll just have to deal with it.”
The Sixers—wearing the red-and-orange uniforms of the old Syracuse Nationals—could have used some vintage Webber to spare them the embarrassment of this loss. Golden State used a 19-7 run in the third to take control.
Richardson went 4-for-8 and scored nine points in the third. Richardson swiped a pass away from Iverson during the spurt and scored on a fastbreak dunk that made it 70-57 and brought even more boos from a very restless crowd.
“We got a good lead in the third quarter,” coach Mike Montgomery said. “We kind of got stabilized and guys made a couple of plays and gutted the thing out.”
Richardson’s 3-pointer from the left side late in the fourth gave the Warriors a 101-81 lead. ^Notes: The 76ers honored Hall of Famers Dolph Schayes, Earl Lloyd and the rest of the 1954-55 NBA champion Syracuse Nationals. The Sixers also paid tribute to Wilt Chamberlain’s 100-point game for the Philadelphia Warriors on March 2, 1962. The Nats moved to Philly and became the 76ers in 1963. … The Warriors wore their blue “The City” uniforms of the 1966-67 San Francisco Warriors. The Warriors franchise originated in Philadelphia from 1946-62. … Iverson’s 12 turnovers were a league season high, and tied for fourth-highest in NBA history.