The Sixers' two biggest stars combined to go just 10 of 28 from the field and committed a combined 11 of the Sixers' 19 turnovers. Embiid looked hampered by the knee soreness he was feeling, and Simmons wasn't able to get to the rim as often as in other games. As good as some of the Sixers' role players have been in this young NBA season, the team needs its best players to be at their best to compete with the NBA's elite teams.
The Sixers were outscored, 36-21, in the third and committed seven turnovers. Not only was their offensive output lacking, but their defense in the third was outshined by a mile by the Warriors'. Golden State hit six threes, (three from a wide-open Nick Young). On the other end, the Warriors grabbed four steals and managed five blocks, leading to 11 fastbreak points. The Warriors pulled away, extending a one-point lead to a 16-point lead at the end of the third.
The reserve unit was a large part of the Sixers' staying with the Warriors in the first half. With none of the Sixers starters able to break double digits in the opening two quarters, the bench scored a combined 25 points as the Sixers went into halftime trailing by just one point against the defending NBA champions. This performance comes after Sacramento's second unit outscored the Sixers bench, 56-17, Thursday night. The reserve unit got more playing time because the game turned into a blowout, and the starters were removed from the game early in the fourth. The Sixers' second unit finished with 47 points, led by Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot with 15.
A notable part of the bench stepping up was the performance of Justin Anderson. In just under six minutes in the first half he was 3 for 3 for eight points, including two three-pointers. Anderson has slowly improved his shot from deep. He went into Saturday's game shooting a career best 33.3 percent from beyond the arc. He finished the game with eight points, six rebounds, and a steal in 14 minutes of play.