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.