NBA Gameday: Draymond vs Saric the matchup to watch

NBA Gameday: Draymond vs Saric the matchup to watch

OAKLAND -- After losing three consecutive regular season games for the first time since coach Steve Kerr arrived in 2014, the Warriors on Tuesday night have a prime opportunity to get back to their winning ways.

They’re playing at Oracle Arena, where they are a league-best 26-4, and they’re facing the downtrodden, injury-depleted Philadelphia 76ers.

The Warriors (52-14), who are tied with the San Antonio Spurs for the No. 1 overall seed, have been struggling ever since Kevin Durant sustained a knee injury on Feb. 28 at Washington, losing five of seven since.

The 76ers’ record (24-42) is deceptive insofar as they are 11-24 when Joel Embiid is out of the lineup, and he is done for the rest of the season. They have lost seven of their last nine, with the only wins coming over the lowly Lakers and Knicks.

BETTING LINE

Warriors by 16.5

MATCHUP TO WATCH

Draymond Green vs. Dario Saric: In the absence of Embiid, the 6-foot-10 Saric has emerged as Philly’s most consistently productive player. The 22-year-old Croatian forward is waging a second-half Rookie of the Year campaign, averaging 19.4 points and 8.1 rebounds over his last 13 games. Green, who thrives on opportunities to teach lessons to talented youngsters, has been off his game lately and could use a stellar performance.

INJURY REPORT

Warriors: F Kevin Durant (L knee sprain) is listed as out.

76ers: G Jerryd Bayless (L wrist surgery), F Robert Covington (R knee soreness), C Joel Embiid (L knee injury), F Ben Simmons (R foot fracture) and F/C Tiago Splitter (R calf strain) are listed as out.

LAST 10

Warriors: 5-5. 76ers: 3-7.

SERIES HISTORY

The Warriors have won the last seven games, including the first this season, 119-108 on Feb. 27 in Philadelphia. They haven’t lost to the Sixers at home since 2011.

THREE THINGS TO WATCH

THE HUSTLE GAME: The Sixers may be undersized and talent-deficient, but they are well coached and they play hard. Which means they cannot be taken for granted. But if the Warriors are careful with the ball and can match Philly’s effort, they should prevail even with an ordinary shooting night.

TAKING OF GIFTS: Only the Nets commit more turnovers than the 76ers, which plays into the hands of the Warriors. They are at their best when forcing turnovers and turning them into transition offense. Expect defensive energy from the Warriors as they feed off the home crowd and try to create separation before halftime.

PLAY THE LANES: The 76ers, as demanded by coach Brett Brown, rely on constant movement. According to NBA.com, they actually lead the NBA in passes per game as well as overall miles per game (Yes, there is a stat for that). All that passing and movement provides more opportunity for steals by the Warriors, who lead the league in that category.

Warriors set franchise record, match 1985-86 Showtime Lakers

Warriors set franchise record, match 1985-86 Showtime Lakers

BOX SCORE

For the 44th time in the 2016-17 season, the Warriors dished out 30-plus assists or more in one game. Not only does that set a franchise record, Golden State is also the first to do so since one of the greatest teams in NBA history. 

On a Steph Curry assist down the court that resulted in an Andre Iguodala running reverse dunk with 38 seconds left in the third quarter, the Warriors made history. The nifty assist made the Warriors the first team since the 1985-86 Showtime Lakers to hand out 30 or more assists 44 times in one season.

Last season, when the Warriors set an NBA record record with 73 wins, the team finished 43 games with the feat.

The '85-86 Lakers were looking to repeat as NBA champions 21 years ago but came up short in five games to Hakeem Olajuwon and the Houston Rockets in the Western Conference Finals. 

Golden State finsihed Friday night with 37 assists in a 114-100 win over the Kings. Curry led the way with 12 dimes. 

Instant Replay: Curry, Draymond combine for 50 in Warriors' win vs Kings

Instant Replay: Curry, Draymond combine for 50 in Warriors' win vs Kings

BOX SCORE

OAKLAND -- The Warriors extended their win streak to six games, their longest in more than two months, with a 114-100 waxing of the Sacramento Kings before sellout crowd Friday night at Oracle Arena.

Stephen Curry led the charge, pouring in a game-high 27 points and coming within three rebounds of a triple-double. Draymond Green put in a season-high 23 points and Ian Clark added 10 off the bench.

The Warriors (58-14) recorded 37 assists, the franchise-record 44th time this season they have posted more than 30. They also had 12 steals, the NBA-best 37th time this season they’ve had reached double digits in that category.

Twelve different Warriors played, and all 12 entered the scoring column.

Rookie guard Buddy Hield totaled 22 points to lead the Kings, who lost for the fourth straight game and the 12 time in the last 15.

STANDOUT PERFORMERS

Curry and Green share the honors because they did the most damage.

Curry’s line: 27 points (9-of-17 shooting from the field, 5-of-11 from beyond the arc, 4-of-4 from the line), 12 assists, seven rebounds and six steals. He played 33 minutes and was plus-28 for the game.

Curry’s five triples pushed his total to 277, the third-highest total in a season. He also owns the top two totals.

Green’s line: 20 points (8-of-17, 3-of-9, 4-of-5 from the line), eight assists, four rebounds, three steals and one block. He played 34 minutes and was plus-23.

TURNING POINT

After a layup by Lawson gave the Kings a 16-11 lead with 5:39 left in the first quarter, the Warriors came back with a 16-4 to close the quarter, for a 27-20 lead entering the second quarter.

The Warriors never trailed again, were up 57-50 at the half and 92-72 after three quarters. Sacramento got no closer than 11 in the fourth.

INJURY REPORT

Warriors: F Kevin Durant (L knee sprain, tibial bone bruise) is listed as out. C Damian Jones is on assignment with Santa Cruz of the NBA Development League.

Kings: G Darren Collison (rest), G Tyreke Evans (rest), F Rudy Gay (L Achilles tear), G Malachi Richardson (R hamstring partial tear) and F Anthony Tolliver (rest) were listed as out.

WHAT’S NEXT

The Warriors return to action Sunday afternoon, when they play host to the Memphis Grizzlies at Oracle Arena. Tipoff is scheduled for 5:05 p.m.