Late-night hoops on a Friday night. The 76ers continue their road trip that lands them in San Francisco to face the defending champion Warriors on the front end of a back-to-back.
The Sixers hit a little snag on Monday at home in their loss to the Chicago Bulls. Snapping their eight-game winning streak. Only to bounce back with a dominant road performance against the Bulls in the rematch, 116-91. Three 20-plus point scorers on the night led by De’Anthony Melton’s game-high 25, including four made 3’s. Tyrese Maxey added 21 matching Melton’s three-point total and Tobias Harris chipped in with 20, nine rebounds, and eight assists. As a team, the 76ers shared the ball impressively over the course of the game with 30 assists on 39 made field goals. Philadelphia now has 10 games remaining on the schedule including tonight’s game — six on the road and four at home.
Joel Embiid played just 16 minutes. Finishing with 12 points in the first half. He missed the second after experiencing some discomfort in his calf. Head coach Doc Rivers and the medical staff chose to keep Embiid from the floor to eliminate any further damage. The MVP candidate Embiid, James Harden (who missed the game due to left Achilles soreness), and Jalen McDaniels (hip soreness) are all listed as questionable for tonight’s matchup. Philadelphia has one of the best road records in the league at 23-12. They’ll need to perform at that level tonight against the Warriors who are 29-7 at the Chase Center.
The Warriors begin a four-game home stand riding a two-game winning streak with eight games remaining on the schedule. They sport a 38-36 record and have won their last eight games at home and 12 of the last 13. As mentioned earlier, a tough squad on the home floor led by Steph Curry’s 29.6 points per game. He makes close to five 3’s a night on 43 percent shooting. Still remarkable. Before tonight’s league schedule, Golden State is the sixth seed and just a game back of fourth behind the fourth-seeded Phoenix Suns – the Sixers’ opponent on Saturday.
This will be game two of the season series as the 76ers took game one in Philadelphia on December 16th – dropping the Warriors 118-106. Embiid led all with 34 and 16 boards, Harden finished with 27 and nine dimes to help lead the team to victory. Jordan Poole led Golden State with 29 while Donte DiVincenzo added 17. Curry and Draymond Green missed the game due to injury and rest. Tonight, Philadelphia will have to make a conscious effort to defend the three-point line and not let Curry, Thompson, DiVincenzo, and Poole get going and flip the game quickly.