No Joel Embiid, no Klay Thompson, no problem, for the premier Saturday night game on the NBA schedule as the Golden State Warriors defeated the Philadelphia 76ers 120-117. The Sixers held a ten point lead at the half and saw that lead balloon up to 15 early in the third, but Kevin Durant and DeMarcus Cousins were too much to handle as the Warriors erased that 15 point deficit in about three minutes.
It was not an efficient night for Durant, as he shot 11-24 from the field, including 2-7 from beyond the arc and an uncharacteristic 10-14 from the free throw line, but he did lead all scorers with 34 points. Cousins had his best game, offensively, since coming back from injury as he provided a season high 25 points to go along with his eight rebounds. Filling in for the injured Klay Thompson, Damion Lee scored 12 points of 4-5 shooting from beyond the arc.
For the Sixers, Ben Simmons led the Sixers with 25 points, 15 rebounds and 11 assists as he was his normal efficient and effective self. Joining him in the 20 point club was Tobias Harris, who scored 20 points, but had an awful shooting night, and Jimmy Butler who scored 21 points and added nine rebounds.
Going into the fourth quarter it looked like the Warriors were going to run away with it, but the Sixers got a nice jolt of energy from Mike Scott who was unconscious from three shooting 6-9 and scoring 22 points.
This was big win for the Warriors who were coming off two straight losses in Florida and were in the final game of a four game road trip. The Sixers would be happy with this performance considering they are still without the 27 points per game from Embiid.
Golden State is now one game above Denver for the first spot in the West and are gearing up for a home game with the Boston Celtics on Tuesday. The Sixers sit in fourth just half a game out of the third spot and two games up on Boston who is in the fifth spot. The Sixers have the Magic, at home, on Tuesday and might have Embiid back for that one.