The Philadelphia 76ers will be searching for their 22nd victory in 24 home games when they host the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday.
The Sixers improved to 21-2 at home following a resounding 108-91 win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday. During the game, LeBron James passed Kobe Bryant for third place on the all-time scoring list in NBA history. Then on Sunday, Bryant was tragically killed in a helicopter accident in Southern California.
Bryant was a star at nearby Lower Merion (Pa.) High School before embarking on a 20-year career with the Lakers.
Tobias Harris led the surging Sixers with 29 points while Ben Simmons added 28 points and 10 rebounds and eight assists.
The Sixers are expected to play again without All-Star center Joel Embiid (finger) for a 10th straight game along with Josh Richardson, who is out with a strained left hamstring.
“Guys weren’t making excuses. We just came out and said, ‘Hey, we’re going to take on the challenge, we’re going to go with it,'” said Al Horford, who scored 16 points. “And it speaks a lot about this group. The guys, they’re hungry, ready to play, and a lot of the guys who come off the bench, whatever you throw at them, they’re going to do it (play) and they’re going to do it at their best.”
The Sixers were especially active defensively with a total of 12 steals, five from rookie Matisse Thybulle. They’re 8-0 this season when recording at least 12 steals in a game.
“Defensively, you look at the disturbance that Matisse Thybulle and Ben caused with nine cumulative forced turnovers,” Sixers head coach Brett Brown said. “He (Simmons) was really special (Saturday) on a very talented court.”
The Warriors will begin a five-game road trip in Philadelphia looking to snap a maddening skid.
Golden State fell 129-118 to the Indiana Pacers on Friday and lost for the 13th time in 14 games, dropping to 10-37. The injury-riddled Warriors, who are playing without a number of key players such as Steph Curry and Klay Thompson, own the worst record in the league.
There was a bright spot against the Pacers as D’Angelo Russell scored 37 points and knocked down 9 of 13 shots from beyond the arc.
“To win a game in this league is difficult, and you have to be solid with all the fundamentals,” Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said. “That’s why we teach them every day. You have to compete the whole way through.”
Glenn Robinson III added 18 points against Indiana, but it wasn’t enough to help propel the Warriors to a win. With the trade deadline looming and the losses piling up, more changes could be coming. The Warriors have already dealt big man Willie Cauley-Stein to the Dallas Mavericks.
“It is always a weird time of the year,” Robinson told the San Francisco Chronicle. “With everything happening with trades, and the dominoes start to fall, but we can’t get too caught up in everything that is going on around us. You just have to control what you can control.”
–Field Level Media