The Golden State Warriors must have watched the Philadelphia 76ers get blown out by 45 points by the Clippers last night, because they tried to one-up their SoCal rivals with a beatdown of their own on the lowly 76ers.
They nearly did, defeating the 76ers by 43 points — 123-80 — at Oracle Arena on Monday night.
It was reserve forward Marreese Speights who led the way with a career-high 32 points on 12-of-15 shooting to go along with eight rebounds and three blocks. Speights must have heard the trade rumors that the Warriors (31-21) could potentially bring in another power forward to bolster the bench, because he played like a man possessed. Whether it was from inside or out, Speights could not be stopped, making fans think, “Why can’t he play like this every game?” (Speights did get some MVP chants).
The Warriors took a modest 29-21 lead after one, but blew the game open by outscoring the Sixers 37-12 in the second quarter, with Speights scoring 17 alone in the quarter. By halftime, the Warriors had doubled up on the Sixers 66-33, and reached the century mark early in the fourth. They shot 48.9 percent from the field and scored 23 fastbreak points while holding Philadelphia (15-38) to just 36.7 percent shooting.
The terrific bench play — they scored a season-high 59 points — gave the starters a much-needed rest. Stephen Curry only played 27 minutes, putting in 23 points. David Lee, in his return from injury, played 31 minutes and scored 13 points.
The 43-point margin was the largest margin of victory for the Warriors this season, and the sixth largest in franchise history. But really, without taking anything away from Golden State, this loss speaks more about the decrepit state of the Sixers than it does anything about the Warriors.
Tale of the Tape (sorry, Philly)
- Field-goal percentage: 48.9% (43-88)
- Three-point percentage: 41.4% (12-29)
- Rebounds: 60
- Assists: 24
- Turnovers: 18
- Bench points: 59
- Field-goal percentage: 36.7% (33-90)
- Three-point percentage: 11.8% (2-17)
- Rebounds: 38
- Assists: 15
- Turnovers: 17
- Bench points: 24
Mo Speights, smiling, on Oracle showering him with MVP chants: “I was like, ‘Wow. They’re really doing this right now?”
— Marcus Thompson (@ThompsonScribe) February 11, 2014
What’s on Tap
The Warriors will take on the Miami Heat on Wednesday night in their final game before the All-Star break.