Curry, Warriors bounce back with victory over 76ers
PHILADELPHIA — Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr’s message at halftime was succinct and his team clearly listened.
The second half was a completely different story and so was the final result.
Steph Curry scored 35 points, Kevin Durant added 27 and the Warriors rallied from a 22-point halftime deficit for a 124-116 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday night at the Wells Fargo Center.
“It was mainly, ‘We’re not used to being run off the floor,” Kerr said. “We’re the ones usually playing with pace and energy.”
That they did for the final 24 minutes after falling behind by 24 in the opening moments of the second half. The Warriors completed the NBA’s largest comeback of the season, recorded their fourth comeback from a double-digit deficit this season and fifth comeback of at least 20 points since the start of the 2014-15 season
Curry responded in a big way after a nine-point performance two nights earlier in 92-88 loss at Boston. Curry shot 11 of 22 and hit all nine of his free throws.
“Tonight we started terrible and finished amazing,” Curry said. “We’ll put it all together.”
The Warriors won for the fifth straight time in Philadelphia and the 10th consecutive overall in the series, including a sweep this season.
Klay Thompson added 17 points and David West had 14 for the Warriors (12-4). Zaza Pachulia chipped in with 10.
“I thought we were poised in the third quarter,” Kerr said after his team outscored Philadelphia 47-15 in the third.
Ben Simmons led the Sixers (8-7) with 23 points, 12 assists and eight rebounds while Joel Embiid added 21 points. Robert Covington and JJ Redick contributed 20 apiece, and Dario Saric had 13 points and 10 rebounds.
It wasn’t enough offense to produce a win.
“They’re as explosive an offensive team as there has ever been in this game,” Redick said.
The sellout crowd of 20,848 was loud from the start and reached a fever pitch by halftime when the Sixers shot 60 percent and ran out to a 74-52 lead at halftime. The 74 points by the Sixers set a floor record for points in a half by any team since the arena opened for the 1996-97 season.
Covington hit his first four 3-pointers while Embiid (17) and Simmons (16) were 13 for 19.
“A basketball game is 48 minutes,” Embiid said. “You’ve got to come out and play 48 minutes. You can’t play 24 minutes.”
Curry stayed hot throughout the third quarter with three huge treys and 20 total points and the Warriors, put on a show while jumping to a stunning 99-89 advantage.
“In the third quarter, I honestly didn’t know how dominating it was,” Curry said.
The Sixers began to come unraveled late in the third as they were whistled for a pair of technical fouls — one on the bench and one on coach Brett Brown.
Golden State pulled ahead 107-97 on a vicious dunk by West with 7:52 remaining.
The lead then swelled to 115-97 on a jumper by Thompson and the crowd, which was once buzzing, began to file out with less than five minutes left.
“They were aggressive and physical with us,” Embiid said. “They did what they had to do and got the win.”
NOTES: The Sixers were short-handed without Gs Jerryd Bayless (left wrist contusion), Justin Anderson (shin splints), Markelle Fultz (right shoulder), Nik Stauskas (sprained right ankle) and C Jahlil Okafor (personal reasons). ... Warriors coach Steve Kerr, on the development of Sixers C Joel Embiid: “That Laker game was scary.” Embiid had a career-high 46 points, 15 rebounds, seven assists and seven blocked shots against the Lakers?on Wednesday. ... The Sixers returned home at 8-6 after playing 10 of their first 14 games on the road. “We feel we could be in a better position,” Sixers coach Brett Brown said. “We’ll take where we’re at.” ... Warriors G Klay Thompson hit at least one 3-pointer for the 70th straight game. ... Sixers F Robert Covington played in his first game since agreeing to a four-year, $62 million extension on Friday.