76ers routed by hot-shooting Warriors, 135-114
Golden State's Kevin Durant scored 29 points in just three quarters of action.
OAKLAND, Calif. — The 76ers faced the team that does exactly what they do — just better.
Like the Sixers, the Golden State Warriors shoot for a high percentage on three-pointers and rack up a lot of assists.
On Saturday night, the defending NBA champions put on a three-point shooting clinic in a 135-114 victory at the Oracle Arena.
The Warriors (10-3) ended up making 51.9 percent (14 of 27) of their threes.
"There's not much to say. They're a championship team," said point guard Ben Simmons, whose Sixers (6-6) lost their second straight game. "They have a great offensive system, a lot of great players. That opens up a lot. And it's tough to get back [to defend the three] and know who you have."
The Sixers didn't only have a problem with Golden State's three-point barrage. They couldn't stop Durant. The 6-foot-11 forward finished with 29 points on 11-for-18 shooting – including 3 of 6 on three-pointers – in 28 minutes, 3 seconds of action. The all-star sat out the fourth quarter.
The Warriors' other all-stars also shined. Thompson made 4 of 6 three-pointers en route to finishing with 23 points. Curry added 22 points while making 3 of 8 threes. Like Durant, Curry sat out of the final quarter. And Draymond Green finished with 10 points, 10 rebounds, seven assists and five blocks.
"That team has good chemistry, and that's where we want to build [up to] one day," Sixer Robert Covington said. "You take certain things from different types of teams. Golden State is very good to team to learn a lot from. They way they play is going to be very beneficial. … We do the same things."
It wasn't surprising that the Warriors dominated. They are arguably the league's best team. This victory extended their winning streak to six games. It was also their ninth straight series win over the much-improved Sixers.
The Sixers are indeed similar to Golden State when it comes to style of play. Both share the ball and shoot three-pointers at a high percentage.
The Warriors went into the game leading the league in assists with an average of 31 per game. The Sixers were second at 25.9. The squads were also two of the NBA's top three-point shooting teams. Golden State ranked second at 40.8 percent, while the Sixers were third at 40.0.
On this night, the Sixers made 42.9 percent (12 of 28) of their threes and had a slight 31-30 assists disadvantage. But for them to win, Joel Embiid and Simmons both would have to have solid offensive nights. They didn't.
Simmons finished with 13 points, eight assists and five rebounds. The point guard shot just 6 for 17 from the field. Embiid scored 12 points on 4-for-11 shooting and finished with seven rebounds.
JJ Redick paced the Sixers with 17 points.
Early on, the game had all the signs of a good one. That's because the Sixers were far from in awe or intimidated by the Warriors. Embiid and Durant received technicals for arguing after Embiid whacked Durant on a layup attempt with 2:28 left in the first quarter. Durant started the argument by mouthing off at Embiid. The exchange motivated Durant.
"He talks a lot of [stuff]," Durant said of Embiid. "Needed some energy. So I knew if I threw a couple of words at him, he'll hype me up."
The Sixers played through 18 lead changes and eights ties before the Golden State went on a 20-4 run in the third period. That enabled them to take a 94-78 advantage with 2:36 left in the quarter.
The Warriors got out and ran in transition and spaced the floor during the decisive run.
"We knew what we were coming into," Covington said. "This is one of those challenges that we have to take on. But we will see them again in a week. We will be better prepared. We have an idea how they are going to play. And we are [going to make] it be a different outcome."
Before the game, Sixers two-way player James Michael McAdoo received his 2017 NBA championship ring. The forward played for the Warriors the previous three seasons.
McAdoo had a game with the Delaware 87ers, the Sixers' G-League affiliate, Friday night in Sioux Falls. He took a car service to the airport at 4 a.m. Saturday morning. After a brief layover in Denver, he arrived at the team's hotel at 10:30 a.m.
McAdoo entered the game with 6:48 left to nice applause.
Jerryd Bayless (bruised left wrist), Nik Stauskas (sprained right ankle) and Markelle Fultz ( shoulder) all missed the game due to injuries.
Bayless said before the game that he hopes to return this week. The Sixers traveled to Los Angeles following the game to face the Clippers (Monday) and Lakers (Wednesday). They'll face the Warriors at home Saturday.