Sixers clobbered by Warriors 127-104, lose third straight

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Philadelphia 76ers guard Kelly Oubre Jr., center, loses his footing between Golden State Warriors guards Stephen Curry, left, and Brandin Podziemski (2) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2024, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/D. Ross Cameron)

The Philadelphia 76ers entered tonight’s matchup against the Golden State Warriors, reeling from injuries and their recent stretch of losing. Losers of six out of their last seven games, the Sixers have faced a ton of injuries that have contributed to their losing streak.

They were missing the likes of Joel Embiid, De’Anthony Melton, Nico Batum, Marcus Morris, Danuel House Jr, and Robert Covington. Hitting the court tonight without a major part of their rotation would make this game a tall task for Philly.

The Warriors came in rather healthy, only truly missing Chris Paul, and winners of three out of their last four. Steph Curry came in red hot, scoring 60 points in a loss to the Atlanta Hawks and 29 points in their win against the Brooklyn Nets. Steph and the crew have been up and down this season but looked to take the season series against the Sixers, winning last week in San Francisco in the infamous game that ended Joel Embiid’s MVP campaign.

Sixers/Warriors Recap

The first quarter was a mixture of good defense and bad shooting from both squads. Jaden Springer got the start tonight against the Warriors with the main assignment to guard Steph Curry. Springer took his matchup seriously and held Steph Curry scoreless in the first quarter. The rest of the offense was a lot of Paul Reed and Patrick Beverley, with Maxey being held scoreless as well.

Utah Jazz forward Simone Fontecchio, right, defends against Philadelphia 76ers guard Tyrese Maxey (0) during the second half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Feb. 1, 2024, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

The second quarter started with the Sixers building a ten-point lead, which they only held for a few minutes, with the Warriors storming back with their bench unit. The defense game plan with Maxey has been the same since Embiid has been out of the lineup, double Maxey and trap him, and the Warriors executed that well in the first half. The newly named All-Star looked uncomfortable on the offensive end and couldn’t get anything going. The Warriors took a 48-45 lead into halftime.

The Warriors came out swinging in the third quarter, finally hitting all cylinders on offense. The Sixers continued to struggle on offense, with Maxey and Harris both missing a boatload of shots. With the shots not falling, pressure continued to mount, and their bad offense bled into their defense. They were outscored by 20 points in the third quarter leading to a blowout going into the final frame.

The fourth didn’t get any better for Philly, as Golden State kept their foot on the gas and blew the Sixers out. The only highlight of the quarter was a fast break alley-oop, where Terq Smith lobbed it off the backboard to Ricky Council IV. The Warriors thrashed the Sixers 127-104, with Andrew Wiggins leading the way with 21 points and 10 rebounds. The Sixers were paced by Ricky Council IV, who scored 17 points.

Springing into action

Jaden Springer never really got a chance to play under Doc Rivers, but with Nick Nurse, he has gotten every opportunity to showcase his defensive ability. Springer got the start primarily to guard Steph Curry, and Nick Nurse mirrored his minutes with Curry. Springer’s ability to use his strength to fight through screen and hound opposing ball handlers 94 feet. He also has enough bounce to block shots when he’s beaten off the dribble or as a secondary defender.

Philadelphia 76ers’ Jaden Springer (11) shoots against Indiana Pacers’ Myles Turner (33) and Bennedict Mathurin (00) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Jan. 25, 2024, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Springer’s knock is what he brings on the offensive end. He isn’t as polished on that end of the court and ends up not being able to contribute as much as the team needs. If he was a consistent and average shooter from the corner, he could lock his spot up in the rotation. For right now, with a Sixers team that needs him due to injuries, he is doing all he can for a team that needs more perimeter defense.

Growing Pains

Tyrese Maxey has had a tremendous season overall and earned his first of many all-star game appearances, but these games without Embiid have truly tested him. It was different when the team was just missing Joel Embiid, but with an entire rotation missing, teams have double and triple-teamed him.

Philadelphia 76ers’ Tyrese Maxey, center, cannot hang onto a loose ball against Indiana Pacers’ Buddy Hield, from left, Aaron Nesmith and Bruce Brown during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Nov. 12, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

They have played physical defense to disrupt the young star, and it shows. Now Maxey has an injured ankle and a recent sickness that he has tried to play through, and it shows. With him being the focal point of the offense, he is enduring some growing pains, but he will be better for it in the long run.

Reinforcements are needed

The Sixers need some reinforcements quickly! It has been rumored that they are in discussions to trade for a couple of guys. They have been linked to Malcolm Brogdon, Buddy Hield, Bojan Bogdanovic, Andre Drummond, Dejounte Murray, and Kelly Olynyk. They have to be aggressive at the deadline to help this team stay competitive.

Indiana Pacers guard Buddy Hield, right, drives past Denver Nuggets guard Reggie Jackson, left, in the second half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, Jan. 14, 2024, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

They also are missing some key pieces like De’Anthony Melton and Nico Batum who offensively and defensively are really important pieces to this lineup. Daryl Morey needs to add a scoring punch and a big man; coupled with key returns from injury, the Sixers can still win games on a nightly basis. Bring on the trade deadline.

The Sixers are in action again this Friday against the Atlanta Hawks at 7 PM on NBCSP and 97.5 the Fanatic.