OAKLAND, Calif. — The 76ers have two All-Stars, and possibly a third. Yet, Thursday night, they showed they might be better than some even imagined.
The Sixers went into the Bay Area and pulled off arguably the biggest regular-season win in Brett Brown’s six-year coaching tenure. All-Stars Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid scored 26 points each as the Sixers defeated the two-time defending NBA-champion Golden State Warriors, 113-104, at Oracle Arena.
The victory improved the Sixers to 34-18 and was their seventh in a nine-game stretch. The Warriors (36-15) saw their 11-game winning streak end.
That wasn’t the only streak the Sixers snapped. This victory marked their first win against the Warriors since a 104-97 decision on March 2, 2013, at the Wells Fargo Center. Golden State had won 10 consecutive games vs. the Sixers and six straight in Oakland.
After struggling from the field in the first half, Embiid had one of his usually dominant performances. In addition to his 26 points, the center had a game-high 20 rebounds, five assists and four steals. His lone blemish: He committed eight of the team’s 19 turnovers.
Simmons shot 10-for-13 from the field and added eight rebounds, a team-high three steals, and a block. His block was one of the game’s clutch plays. With his team up by seven, Simmons blocked Stephen Curry’s 28-foot, three-point attempt with 1 minute, 57 seconds left.
“I just thought he played a complete game,” Brown said of Simmons. "He was a tremendous leader, and he played within himself and today was named an NBA All-Star.
“For Ben, I am very proud of him, and I thought this game tonight might’ve been his best NBA game.”
Simmons responded “maybe” when asked if it was his best game.
“I’ve played a few good games,” he said. “It’s one of those games that things were clicking. I was being aggressive and trying to make plays for my team, defensively and offensively.”
JJ Redick (15) and reserve Landry Shamet (10) were the Sixers' other double-figure scorers. Curry, the Warriors' perennial All-Star and two-time MVP, finished with a game-high 41 points. Klay Thompson, Golden State’s five-time All-Star shooting guard, did not play because he was sick.
Curry shot 10-for-18 on three-pointers, and his teammates went 1-for-20 from deep.
“The shots tend to go in more when you execute,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “We didn’t execute. We weren’t setting screens. We weren’t racing into our possessions like we’ve been doing lately and a lot of standing around. I didn’t love the offensive execution, and usually that leads to poor shooting.”
Three and a half hours before the game, Simmons learned he was an Eastern Conference All-Star reserve. This came one week after Embiid was named an All-Star starter for the second straight season.
The Sixers could have three All-Stars. Jimmy Butler (seven points) is a candidate to replace injured Indiana guard Victor Oladipo.
The Sixers built a 95-84 lead on Embiid’s layup with 24.8 seconds left in the third quarter. The Warriors pulled within five points late in the fourth quarter, before Embiid hit a pair of foul shots with 2:23 left to make it a 108-101 game.
Simmons and Mike Muscala blocked shots on the Warriors' next two possessions. Then Embiid added two more foul shots to put the Sixers up by nine with 1:08 left.
“I think we played tremendously tonight,” Simmons said. “Everybody really stepped up. There was a few times that there were missed options on defense. But I think everybody contributed and played well tonight.”