With rookie Michael Carter-Williams leading the way, the unbeaten Philadelphia 76ers have been the biggest surprise in the NBA in the early going.
On the verge of their best start in 13 seasons, the 76ers go for a sixth consecutive home victory over the Golden State Warriors on Monday night.
While many believed the 76ers (3-0) were going to be in good position to take advantage of next year's highly touted draft, they have instead gotten off to a stunning start.
After beating two-time defending champion Miami on Wednesday and Washington two nights later, Philadelphia pulled out a thrilling 107-104 victory over Chicago on Saturday. Carter-Williams had 26 points and 10 assists and Evan Turner scored 20 as the 76ers erased a 20-point deficit.
"We understand what everybody has said and written about us," first-year coach Brett Brown said. "Our guys have put in the day-to-day stuff, which has always been our message. I'm lucky I've found a group that enjoys each other's company and they enjoy playing together."
The 76ers have shot 51.2 percent while averaging 110.0 points, a huge increase from last season's mark of 93.2.
"I'm surprised we've been able to score at the rate that we've able to score," Brown said. "I didn't know they had it in them."
Carter-Williams, selected 11th overall in June, has played a big part in the team's success. He is averaging 20.7 points, 9.0 assists and 4.3 steals while going 8 of 17 from 3-point range.
"Coach gives me a lot of confidence out there," he said. "I'm able to play freely and I just try to make things happen within the team. I try to do my job out there and get all my teammates involved. They did a great job. And when they do a great job, it makes me look good."
Philadelphia hasn't won its first four games since opening a franchise-best 10-0 in 2000-01. The 76ers have taken five straight home games against the Warriors (2-1), the most recent a 104-97 victory March 2.
Turner had 22 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists in that contest for Philadelphia, which overcame a combined 59 points from Curry and Thompson.
Golden State's dynamic backcourt duo scored 49 while going 8 for 16 from beyond the arc in a 98-87 win over Sacramento on Saturday. Curry added 12 assists while Thompson pulled down seven rebounds.
"They are two great shooters," coach Mark Jackson said. "These guys put a lot of time into it, they have an incredible gift and it's a beautiful thing. Very fortunate to have a front row seat watching those two guys shoot the basketball."
The Warriors have gone 38 of 75 from 3-point range as they head into a four-game trip.
"You want to feel good before getting on the plane (Sunday) and traveling, but we know going into Philly they're a hot team right now," said Curry, who has 18 turnovers in the last two games. "They've got some players playing at a high level, so we've got to come out ready to go start the road trip off on a good foot."
The 76ers are also getting strong production from big man Spencer Hawes, who's averaging 19.3 points, 11.3 rebounds and 64.9 percent shooting - all career highs.
Golden State's Andre Iguodala, who spent the first eight years of his career with Philadelphia, totaled 24 points and eight turnovers in two games against the 76ers last season while with Denver.
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