Warriors keep rolling, topple 76ers 126-86
Dec. 31, 2014
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Marreese Speights has provided a big lift for Golden State as a scorer off the bench. So it was only natural that as a starter, the 6-foot-10 center wanted some recognition for his passing.
He got it, but only after pointing it out to Warriors coach Steve Kerr at halftime.
Speights scored 23 points and matched his season high of four assists, Stephen Curry added 13 points and nine assists, and the Warriors beat the Philadelphia 76ers 126-86 on Tuesday night.
"Oh yeah, I made sure he shouted me out for that," said Speights, who went 9 of 13 from the floor. "He's always shouting me out for buckets, but I had a couple of assists the last couple games. It means a lot. I'm learning from the guys in front of me on how they pass the ball."
It helped that it came against the 76ers, the team that drafted Speights with the 16th overall pick in 2008. Speights spent three unhappy seasons in Philadelphia, then bounced back and forth between Memphis and Cleveland before signing with Golden State before the 2013-14 season.
Speights made his third start this season because the Warriors' top two centers — Andrew Bogut and Festus Ezeli — are sidelined with injuries.
"I didn't play him a couple games and he just stayed ready," Kerr said. "Then he got himself in the rotation and he's been in ever since. Mo's had a fantastic season scoring and doing his thing."
Draymond Green had 10 points and 10 rebounds and Leandro Barbosa scored 17 off the bench for the Warriors, who won their 10th straight home game to improve to an NBA-best 25-5.
Golden State led by as many as 47 in a game that was even more lopsided than the final score. Kerr pulled his starters early in the fourth quarter, only to see his reserves add to the lead.
Henry Sims had 19 points and seven rebounds for Philadelphia. The 76ers (4-26) have dropped three straight following back-to-back road wins over Miami and Orlando.
"I think you have to stay grounded and be reminded that it's all about the process," coach Brett Brown said. "It's hard to say that when you just lost the way that we just did, I get that. But there are some things you walk away and you can learn from."
The Sixers scored the first six points but were outscored 32-11 the remainder of the first quarter, when they committed 11 turnovers.
Klay Thompson had 11 points for Golden State early, while Speights provided an immediate spark in the second quarter after a long rest on the bench. He blocked a shot by Jerami Grant, scored on three straight long jumpers and later added a dunk to help extend the Warriors' lead to 61-34 at halftime.
76ers: Philadelphia had two long scoreless stretches in the first quarter that totaled 6 minutes, 13 seconds. ... Rookie Nerlens Noel will continue to get time at both forward and center. "We're trying to grow him in both spots," Brown said. ... Philadelphia has dropped four of the past five to Golden State. ... The Sixers have committed 17 turnovers or more in 13 consecutive games.
Warriors: Golden State's winning streak at Oracle Arena is its longest at home since 1994. ... The 25 total wins are the most by the Warriors before New Year's Day since 1967-68, when they had 28. ... Kerr still has no timetable for when Bogut and Ezeli might return. Bogut missed his 10th game because of chonodromalacia/bone edema in his right knee. Ezeli missed his third straight with a left ankle sprain. "They are doing better and they are on the court moving around but I don't really spend a lot of time asking them," Kerr said.
76ers: At Phoenix on Friday.
Warriors: Host Toronto on Friday.