If the Golden State Warriors wanted to make a statement before the looming NBA trade deadline, they certainly succeeded in a dominant second-half performance against the Philadelphia 76ers at Wells Fargo Center on Wednesday.
Amid trade speculation regarding a number of players, the Warriors overcame a slow offensive start to bully a 76ers team playing without the dominant force of reigning MVP Joel Embiid.
The Golden State Warriors won the second-half by 20 to record a 127-104 blowout victory over the Philadelphia 76ers
After a sluggish first-quarter where they had a season-low 15 first-quarter points, the Warrior bench began a response with a 12-0 run early in the second. Despite Stephen Curry being held to just two first-half points by a determined Jaden Springer, Golden State managed a three-point half-time lead behind 11 points each from Andrew Wiggins and Jonathan Kuminga.
Yet a close-fought first-half quickly ignited into a dominant third-quarter, with the Warriors pouring in 43 points to expand their lead to 23 by the end of the period. The visitors extended it to 30 by early in the fourth, marking their largest lead in any game this season.
With his name continually being bandied in trade discussions, Andrew Wiggins epitomized the team's statement in one of his best games for the season. Returning after missing Monday's win over the Brooklyn Nets, the 2022 All-Star hardly missed a beat on both ends of the floor.
Wiggins had a game-high 21 points on an efficient 9-of-14 shooting, including a pair of confident-looking three-pointers. Perhaps just as importantly, the 28-year-old was highly active on the boards with 10 rebounds to record just his second double-double of the season.
Wiggins was also a huge part of an elite Warrior defense that limited All-Star guard Tyrese Maxey to just 12 points on 5-of-14 shooting. After a strong defensive effort against the Nets, Golden State backed it up by keeping Philadelphia to 41.8% shooting from the floor and 25% from three-point range.
The Warrior offense was just as impressive, recording 112 points over the final three-quarters and finishing the night shooting 50% from the floor and 42.1% from beyond the arc. That all came in spite of just nine points from Curry who went just 2-of-7 from the field and 1-of-4 from deep.
In a similar statement to Wiggins, under-fire veteran Klay Thompson quietened his doubters with a much-improved 18 points on 4-of-5 shooting from three-point range. Kuminga also continued his rise to stardom with 18 points, six rebounds and an equal season-high five assists in just over 29 minutes.
Two-way guard Lester Quinones took advantage of another 24 minutes of playing time, scoring seven points in an impactful second-quarter before finishing with 13 to go with two rebounds and four assists. Veteran center Kevon Looney also had one of his best games for the season, recording nine points and nine rebounds in a near double-double in just 17 minutes off the bench.
The blowout win crucially allowed Curry and Wiggins to rest for the final 15 minutes of the game, while Draymond Green was managed to just 18 minutes and didn't play at all after the 4:27 mark of the third-quarter.
That could prove important as the Warriors look to close out their five-game road-trip with a win over the dynamic Indiana Pacers at Gainbridge Fieldhouse on Thursday.