OAKLAND - If there ever was a game this season in which coach Doug Collins needed all his weapons, last night was it.
The Sixers were coming off a grueling, come-from-behind win the night before in Denver, were mired in the middle of an eight-game road trip and were playing a Golden State Warriors team that plays fast offensively and presents as much defense as a knife in a gunfight. And this up-and-down game featured as many open shots as a comedic roast.
Forward Dorell Wright poured in 28 points for the Warriors, feasting on wide-open mid- to long-range jumpers, and helped to ultimately dump the Sixers, 110-95.
The Sixers, who fell to 12-19, are now 2-3 on the road trip, which continues tomorrow in Phoenix
Without swingman Andre Iguodala, out with right Achilles' tendinitis and guard Lou Williams, who is in Philadelphia for the birth of his first child, Collins was left with few weapons in his arsenal.
"We miss Lou [Williams]," said Collins. "We miss Dre a lot. Tonight is one of those games where we were a step slow. When you're a step slow against a team like this you're chasing, and when you're chasing then they get those threes. We were just a step behind and they took advantage."
It showed early as the Warriors stormed to a 16-4 lead just 5 minutes into the game. The Sixers missed 12 of their first 16 shots, had three turnovers and looked like a team that had a fuel gauge quickly approaching "E."
But they went on a 21-4 spurt and finished the quarter with a 30-25 lead.
The weariness looked as though it started creeping back in during the second quarter when the Sixers were outscored, 30-19, by the Warriors. More telling was that Golden State was able to drill six of its eight three-point attempts. Most came from simple ball movement, when the Sixers' weary legs couldn't carry them to the recovery spot on time.
"We were just so undermanned, especially against a team like this that's so potent on the perimeter," said Collins. "We were right there, and then they hit a couple of threes and they pushed it back to six. We just didn't have enough juice and they played great. They shot the ball and they played great."
Collins basically kept Elton Brand or Spencer Hawes in the middle and rotated players around them to try to keep up with the speedy Warriors. Even rookie Craig Brackins, who had played just one game this season, got 11 minutes of action.
With the Warriors playing their trademark Swiss cheese defense, the Sixers were able to keep pace by hitting shots and, when the Warriors missed, limiting them to just one. Problem was, when the Warriors were hitting, they were usually big baskets.
A runner by Thaddeus Young (15 points, eight rebounds) late in the third tied the game at 68-68. But Wright hit a three, and Monta Ellis followed with another from the top of the key to give the Warriors a six-point advantage. They led 76-71 after three.
The hard court in the fourth quarter appeared to turn into a slushy mess for the Sixers as they continued to not get out on shooters and watched helplessly as Golden State drained away. The lead grew to as many as 16 in the fourth and the Warriors finished it out to improve to 12-18. For the night, they finished 15-for-23 from three-point range.
Ellis, who was named the Western Conference player of the week before the game for his 39.7 scoring average in Golden State's three games, finished with 22 points and 12 assists, while David Lee collected 21 points and 16 rebounds and Stephen Curry added 17 points.
A night after totaling 16 points, 17 rebounds and four blocks in the win over the Nuggets, Brand posted 16 points and 16 rebounds for the Sixers, while Jrue Holiday had his third straight solid game, going for 23 points and 11 assists. Jodie Meeks also scored in double figures with 19.