Second-quarter flop sinks Warriors against 76ers

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Second-quarter flop sinks Warriors against 76ers

BOX SCORE
The Warriors started strong, but were outscored by Philadelphia by 14 points in the second quarter and 10 points in the third; they could never recover, falling to 2-2 with a New Year's Eve loss to the 76ers.
76ers 107, Warriors 79
Player of the game: Lou Williams helped keep Philly in the game early in the first half, then helped them close out the second period strongly helping give the 76ers a 50-42 lead.Williams had 13 of his 23 points in the first half, going 4-for-4 from the field, all of which were 3-pointers.
Key stretch: After closing out the second quarter strongly, Philadelphia scored the first seven points to open up the second half, taking a commanding 57-42 lead. That lead would jump to 21 midway through the period and there would be no tense moments in the final 12 minutes.Transition defense was an issue all game for the Warriors, and it wasnt lost on coach Mark Jackson.We talked about it, Jackson said. We really felt if we forced them to play halfcourt basketball we were comfortable with our halfcourt defense. This is a team that pushes the ball down your throat. This is a team that leaks out offensively. Youve got to make sure youve got five guys back. We did not and it hurt us. We gave up too many points in transition.
Bench play: Through the first three games of the season, the Warriors bench had been quite good, with a hand in both of the teams wins. On Saturday, the Warriors bench was emphatically outplayed by the 76ers bench.Williams and Thaddeus Young, with a dash of Evan Turner, took control of the game when they were on the floor. Philly's subs outscored Golden State's 58-30."Our bench, we feel, is one of the best in the league, if not the best in the league," 76ers forward Elton Brand said. "With Lou Williams, Thad coming off that bench, scoring, playing defense, creating plays, getting on the break ... it's fun to watch when they're out there playing."Currys ankle: The good news was that Stephen Currys ankle was fine and didnt seem to be an issue at all. His line looked acceptable 9-for-15 from the field for 21 points but he had five turnovers and just four assists.Its getting better, Curry said afterward. I went the whole game without an incident so thats a step in the right direction.
No Ellis: The Warriors were without shooting guard Monta Ellis, who was back in Mississippi, attending the funeral of his grandmother. Mary Cole passed Christmas morning. The Warriors hope to have Ellis back for their game at Phoenix on Jan. 2."He's basically the face of this franchise," Williams said of Ellis. "He's been here for seven years now. I think Coach (Mark) Jackson has put the ball in his hands and told that this is his team and I think he's very valuable to this squad."Lees first-half struggles: David Lee, who had been effective in his first three games, struggled from the field, particularly in the first half. Lee went just 5-for-18 from the field in the half.Lee finished the game shooting 8-for24 from the field and wound up with 19 points.No throws: Compounding the fact that the Warriors shot just 37.3 percent from the field in the first half was the that they didnt take a free throw, either. That had nothing to do with the officiating, however, as the Warriors settled for jumper after jumper, and Lee couldnt get anything to go down on the interior.Its not a stretch to say the Warriors missed Ellis ability to penetrate and put pressure on the defense.Jackson waved off any kind of officiating issue, and said the 76ers were the more aggressive team.Little things: At the end of the first quarter, with 3.6 seconds remaining, the Warriors had the ball under their own bucket. Jackson subbed in Curry, who had sat for most of the first quarter with two fouls.Philly lost Curry on the inbounds and he wound up with an open 3-pointer. He made it to give the Warriors a 25-19 lead after a period.
Hitting the road: After playing their first four games at Oracle, the Warriors now head out to the road for three games against Phoenix, San Antonio and the L.A. Lakers.

Zaza on All-Star vote spotlight: 'This is a special moment'

Zaza on All-Star vote spotlight: 'This is a special moment'

Zaza Pachulia was the People’s Choice. The Warriors center received 1,528,941 votes from fans eager to see him start in the NBA All-Star Game.

Pachulia in the final fan voting announced Thursday finished behind only teammate Kevin Durant among frontcourt players in the Western Conference. Zaza had more votes than Spurs star Kawhi Leonard (1,058,941) or Pelicans star Anthony Davis (974,802), both of whom will be starting for the West. 

With an extremely strong showing from voters in his native land, the Republic of Georgia, Pachulia finished precisely 613,068 votes ahead of Warriors teammate Draymond Green, who was an All-Star last season.

Yet Pachulia won’t join the All-Stars that flock to New Orleans from Feb. 16-19. The NBA prior to the season changed the voting procedure to ensure fans didn’t have complete control of the starting lineups.

Once the province of fan voting, the starting lineups are determined by a combination of fan voting (50 percent), player voting (25 percent) and media voting (25 percent). This way, a strong showing among fans hardly ensures a starting spot.

Some refer to this alteration as The Zaza Rule, as it was instituted Pachulia nearly made the team last season as a member of the Dallas Mavericks.

And Pachulia is OK with that. He made it clear weeks ago, when his numbers were dwarfing those of players who have made multiple All-Star appearances, the most important aspect of the voting was not how he finished but the incredible support of his fellow Georgians.

“It’s such an overwhelming situation,” Pachulia said a couple weeks ago. “You’re not talking about a couple of thousand (votes). There’s hundreds of thousands. And with such a small country like Georgia, there are only 3.5 million people. The whole country’s involved in it.”

Pachulia, in fact, saw the humor in the matter. He knows his stats don’t compare to those of the league’s elite big men. He knows there is no single element of his game that the average fan would find irresistible.

He even knows he doesn’t belong in the NBA’s showcase game, with many of the players destined for the Hall of Fame.

“It’s just happening. All I can do is just sit back and enjoy and be thankful -- be really thankful -- for all of this,” Pachulia said. “Because I’m telling you, like you can get as mad as you want, you can be as happy as you want, but you can’t buy this. This is a special moment and I really appreciate the support. And that’s what I care about.

“I don’t care about being an All-Star, the fame that comes with it, the recognition that comes with it. I care about the support and the love I’m getting.”

Believe him. He’d prefer to enjoy the time with his family even more than he would have enjoyed the game itself.

Steph Curry, Kevin Durant named starters in 2017 All-Star Game

Steph Curry, Kevin Durant named starters in 2017 All-Star Game

Warriors guard Stephen Curry has been voted to start the NBA All-Star Game for the fourth consecutive season, and this time there was a measure of suspense.

Curry will join Rockets guard James Harden in the backcourt for the Western Conference squad, as voters snubbed MVP candidate and triple-double specialist Russell Westbrook of Oklahoma City.

Joining Curry and Harden in the starting lineup for the West will be Warriors forward Kevin Durant, Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard and Pelicans forward/center Anthony Davis.

A combination of fan balloting (50 percent), player balloting (25 percent) and media balloting (25 percent) comprises the overall vote.

Curry’s selection is sure to generate considerable debate, as Westbrook leads the league in scoring (30.6 points per game), is second in assists and 11th (10.4) in rebounding (10.6). Westbrook also leads the league in PER at 29.56.

Moreover, he is bidding to become the first player since Oscar Robertson in 1961-62 to average a triple-double over the course of a full season.

Coming off back-to-back MVP seasons, Curry ranks 12th in scoring (24.6 points per game), 15th in assists (6.1), second in 3-pointers made (158) and eighth in steals (1.81). His 92.6-percent shooting from the line ranks second in the NBA.

He is the first Warrior since Wilt Chamberlain to start four straight All-Star games.

Durant, in his first season with the Warriors, leads the team in scoring (26.2) and blocks (1.71) and double-doubles (16). He’s second in rebounding (8.6) and third in assists (4.7). His 54.4-percent shooting from the field is 10th in the league and tops among perimeter players.

Durant will be making his eighth appearance, and his fifth as a starter.

The Eastern Conference starters are as follows: guards Kyrie Irving of the Cavaliers and DeMar DeRozan of the Raptors, with frontcourt players LeBron James of the Cavs, Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Bucks and Jimmy Butler of the Bulls.

All-Star reserves, which are chosen by NBA coaches, will be announced on Jan. 26.