The 16-12 Sixers won 118-106 against Golden State at Wells Fargo Center to extend their winning streak.
On Monday night, the Sixers will face off against the Raptors in Philadelphia. These are some observations about their victory over the Warriors.
DiVincenzo comes out blazing, Sixers’ defense lax
Villanova product Donte DiVincenzo essentially replaced Curry’s usual sharpshooting in the early going.
Golden State took a 23-13 lead after DiVincenzo’s first five three-point attempts. Golden State went 9 for 10. The Warriors moved the ball very well and DiVincenzo obviously caught fire, but the Sixers didn’t provide much resistance. Harden was particularly guilty of too many late, short, or non-existent closeouts. The Sixers don’t need Harden to be a defensive stalwart every second, but it was clear that at least running the Warriors off the three-point line and inviting them into the mid-range would’ve been preferable to how the team started on defense.
Matisse Thybulle Got the start and guarded Klay ThompsonAfter five minutes, Danuel house Jr. was substituted in. Returning from a three-game absence because of a left foot laceration, House’s first jumper was, without exaggeration, approximately four feet wide right. The shot was successful. P.J. Tucker’s hands and he laid it in. Embiid had a bizarre lowlight in the first quarter. He tried a fancy, open-floor move and it flew out of him hands.
Twenty-year-old Jonathan Kuminga Harden was defendable and he tried to grab him high and harass the 33-yearold with legal physicality. Harden has seen that defensive approach many times and possesses the tools to score very efficiently against any scheme when he’s flowing. As did Embiid, he played the entire period and scored 15 points. He also made a few step-back threes against Kuminga and created some separation off the dribble before a goaltended layup. If not for Harden’s high-level shotmaking, the Sixers certainly would’ve trailed by more than five points after a poor defensive opening quarter.
Poole can’t transport Warriors
After starting 10 for 14, the Warriors were able to cool down from being within three-point range. They went 17 for 43.
Both teams showed a lack of discipline in the first period. On a positive note, the Sixers’ second unit displayed defensive energy — Montrezl Harrell had an especially crowd-pleasing block on Poole — and ensured minutes with Harden and Embiid each on the bench were far from catastrophic.
Harden was fouled on a Poole jumper with just 1:26 remaining in the second quarter. Poole intelligently sought out the call and he was stunned. Melton and the Sixers were able to effectively guard Poole in the first half. Melton was good on the perimeter and Embiid provided valuable driving deterrence, in addition to rejecting Poole’s layup attempt at the second-quarter buzzer.
The third quarter was an entirely different story. Poole drained three triples within two minutes of the Sixers’ 60-57 win on an Embiid three. While Poole couldn’t keep cooking to that degree, he continued to trouble the Sixers. He made an impressive play in the third quarter, refusing a ball screen and darting into the middle to score a layup. Thybulle registered a highlight of his own with 5.1 seconds to go in the third, swatting a Poole three right in front of the Sixers’ bench.
The reality was that Golden State was dependent on Poole, and the Sixers’ defense didn’t reach its limits. The Sixers performed well overall in defense. Thompson was 4-for-17 for the Sixers.
Melton’s passing is an important event.
The Sixers did not have a true No. The Sixers lacked a true No. Melton, however, is an excellent player who can fill in for potential holes.
It was evident that the Sixers had no choice but to rely on their stars, and that most defenses are content with Thybulle jumping jumpers. He missed two wide open ones in the first period. Shake Milton In his place, Thybulle began the third quarter. Thybulle made a timely turn three in the fourth.
Melton, who’d sat out Tuesday’s win over the Kings with a lingering back issue, was borderline brilliant in the third quarter. While his willingness to make threes was crucial, his best attribute on Friday might have been his passing. After a timeout, Melton saved the day by making a hard catch in the paint and kick the ball to Harden for a three. Melton also assisted with an Embiid three, and found the big man rumbling towards the hoop at the high post. He’s comfortable and productive in areas where guards tend not to beThis is an important part of his passing skills.
The Sixers began the fourth quarter without Embiid, and it looked at one point like they might not need him for any tense moments. Harden and Georges Niang The Sixers extended their lead by 15 points when they drew fouls for three-point attempts. Golden State refused to accept defeat.
Melton was a big player to help the Sixers avoid a serious Warriors rebound. He leapt high to capture a miss Harden jumper and converted an put-back layup. He connected with Embiid during an alley-up, which put the Sixers up 112-99. It was obvious that the team was on its way to another home win.