The Philadelphia 76ers were headed for another typical game against the Golden State Warriors on March 2. The Sixers were down by as much as 16 points in the second quarter, while Stephen Curry was dominating them as much as he dominated the New York Knicks days ago. This should have led to a blowout loss and another nail shut in Philadelphia’s coffin, yet the Sixers somehow changed the script.
Despite 23 first-half points from Curry and their own recent offensive woes, the Sixers stormed back against one of the best offenses in the NBA and stole a 104-97 victory. Not only did Philadelphia snap its seven-game losing streak, it showed more pride than it had in a very long time.
The Sixers that had been seen for the last few weeks would have laid down and died after such a poor start. They never would have settled down after Curry’s initial onslaught and would have given Doug Collins more reasons to think they have given up. Instead, the Sixers found a second gear for this one night and overcame the odds.
It was a lot easier once the Sixers actually made most of their shots. By the time they were finished, they had 51.8 percent shooting from the floor and had made 12-of-18 three-pointers. In contrast, the Warriors and Curry cooled off after their hot start, as Golden State had 41.9 percent shooting and Curry only had seven second-half points.
The Sixers came into the game with the lowest scoring offense in the NBA, which seemed like a recipe for disaster against the Warriors. Yet Evan Turner shot 10-for-15 with 22 points, Jrue Holiday reemerged with 27 points and Royal Ivey came from nowhere with 17 points of his own.
Four Sixers starters scored in double figures, although Spencer Hawes didn’t have a point in just over 19 minutes. In the meantime, the Warriors had little contribution from players other than Curry and Klay Thompson.
Golden State has slumped off lately and has endangered its place in the Western Conference playoffs. However, the Warriors’ struggles had nothing on what the Sixers have endured these last several days. Yet after the first 20 minutes last night, Philadelphia finally looked like a team that was still playing for something.