The shorthanded Philadelphia 76ers were hoping to make a statement on Wednesday going into the Thanksgiving holiday. Despite being so shorthanded, the Sixers gave the NBA-best Golden State Warriors a battle as they built a 19-point lead thanks to the play of Seth Curry and Tyrese Maxey.
Curry had 17 points and Maxey had 13 at halftime as Philadelphia held a 61-52 lead at the half. However, they turned the ball over 10 times in the half and then turned it over another five times in the third and another six in the fourth as the Warriors rallied to beat the Sixers 116-96.
Philadelphia shot only 30% in the second half compared to 59.6% for Golden State and after a hot first half, Curry shot only 2-for-6 after halftime and scored seven points.
“Kind of got to keep scoring, we stalled scoring,” said Seth. “I mean they got a lot of elements to their offense. Steph draws a lot of attention so that gets other guys going, gets them easy looks. You also got to key on him and not let him have a big outburst. It’s tough but their defense is just as good so we got to keep scoring and that’s where we stalled in that third quarter I felt like. It’s tough to say, we just ran out of juice a little bit.”
It’s fair to say that they ran out of juice as they scored only 12 points in the final quarter and were outscored 64-35 in the second half. The Warriors hit them with one of those classic Golden State runs that they are known for during the Steph Curry era.
“We just turned the ball over, they played well,” said coach Doc Rivers. “I thought we got away from our formula. I thought we played great in the first half, I thought the last four minutes before the end of the first half really cost us and then the beginning of the third quarter.”
The Sixers were just not able to have the same impact on the offensive end as they did in the first half. Philadelphia shot 55% in the first half and they were 5-for-13 from deep as they were able to play with pace. Danny Green, who made his return to the floor, scored all 10 of his points before halftime.
“The second half I felt like we stopped playing on the aggressive side of things,” said Green. “We started playing a little more passive instead of attacking and being the aggressor and they were the aggressor. Transition, we didn’t match up as much so when they got out and running that’s what hurt us. We stopped moving the ball like we did in the first half, we stopped attacking as much as we did and the game slowed down for us offensively.”
The Sixers had a chance at a 3-3 road trip, but they just could not respond properly to the Warriors and their run.
“We’re not out there like ‘wow look at Golden State play’ that’s just not how we act,” Rivers added. “I thought a lot of it was self-inflicted from us so I didn’t think it was anything. Their pressure, their defensive pressure changed the game and we turned the ball over, we allowed them to get out running but other than that we’re just coaching and the players are playing.”