No, it wasn't because the Warriors were losing. In fact, the team
was well on its way to a very comfortable 117-105 victory over the
Philadelphia 76ers in a matchup of the NBA's winningest and
Rather, the crowd's surprisingly audible collective groan was heard
when Kerr had the audacity of taking Marreese Speights out of the
game in the middle of the second quarter after the fan favorite
nailed six consecutive shots, including a pair of 3-pointers.
"They have to realize," Kerr said with a chuckle afterward, "Mo has
a shelf life.
"I wanted to tell the fans, 'Don't worry. I'm going to get him back
in.' But you have to pay attention to that expiration date and get
him out and get him a breather."
The Warriors' most valuable substitute in the absence of Andre
Iguodala was plenty good before he turned rotten, scoring 11 of his
17 points during a second-quarter runaway that gave Golden State
control of the game.
"It's a great feeling to have fans behind you like that," the
third-year Warrior said. "Each player on the court needs to play
hard for them."
The Warriors (66-7) completed their third consecutive season-series
sweep of the 76ers with their 53rd consecutive home-court victory.
Also, Golden State's fourth straight win allowed the Warriors to
move five games ahead of the San Antonio Spurs (61-12) in the battle
for top seeding in the Western Conference playoffs with just nine
"I know how much of a grind this is at this point," Kerr said. "I'm
proud of them. They continue to put forth the effort and grind out
these wins. They're fantastic. It's not as easy as they make it
The 76ers (9-65), who took the Warriors to the wire before losing
108-105 at home on Jan. 30, played the defending champs evenly for
15 more minutes before Speights and fellow reserve Brandon Rush
combined for all the scoring in a 13-0 burst that exploded Golden
State into a 53-40 advantage.
The Warriors went on to lead 71-55 at halftime, and the 76ers,
losing for the ninth game in a row, were never closer than 11 after
"We lost the first period by one, we lost the third period by one,
we won the fourth period by five, and they just jumped us in a big
way in the second," 76ers coach Brett Brown said. "You can never
relax. The volume of points they can score in such short bursts is
Speights' second-best scoring night of the season came against the
team that drafted him 16th overall in 2008. He made seven of his 10
shots, including a pair of 3-pointers, and found time for seven
rebounds and three assists in 20 minutes.
Speights has torched the 76ers for a career-best 32 points, 23 and
17 the three times he faced them in Oakland since joining the
Warriors at the start of the 2013-14 season.
"The ball's just going in when we play them at home," Speights said
with a chuckle. "It could be (revenge-motivated); it could be
something else. I'm just glad it's happening."
His season high of 25 points came March 12 against the Phoenix Suns.
Thompson, who used nine 3-pointers as the foundation for his
40-point outing against the Dallas Mavericks on Friday, bombed in
another seven on 14 attempts against the 76ers.
He shot 15-for-27 in all Sunday while recording his fourth 40-point
game of the season and eighth of his career.
Green finished with 13 points and game highs in rebounds (11) and
[to top of second column]
"Draymond Green has changed the power forward position being able to
dribble, being able to pass, being able to shoot," 76ers veteran
backup Elton Brand said. "There are stretch forwards ... Dirk
Nowitzki, Rasheed Wallace, guys like that. But he's playing
(center). It's just tough to match up."
Stephen Curry, despite a 2-for-9 night from 3-point range, added 20
points and a team-high eight assists for the Warriors, who improved
to 5-1 in home games played on Easter.
Golden State made 14 of its 33 3-point attempts (42.4 percent).
Carl Landry had 22 points and a season-best eight rebounds for the
76ers, who completed a winless four-game trip. The former Warrior
hit nine of his 15 shots.
Backup Robert Covington had his third consecutive productive game
since returning from a concussion, logging a 16-point, 11-rebound
Covington also had a double-double (17 points, 11 rebounds) on
Saturday night in Portland after returning to the lineup Wednesday
at Denver with 16 points and nine rebounds.
Brand (10 points) and starting guards Ish Smith (20) and Isaiah
Canaan (15) made it five 76ers in double figures.
"I do watch them on TV," Brand said of the Warriors. "My son is a
big basketball fan, and those are the highlights we watch. The way
they move the ball. The way they play defense. They're just champs.
It's always fun playing against the champs."
Smith also had a team-high 10 assists for the 76ers, who lost
despite shooting 46.7 percent from the field.
The Warriors hit 53 percent of their field-goal attempts.
NOTES: Warriors SG Klay Thompson recorded consecutive 40-point games
for the first time in his career. ... Warriors PG Stephen Curry had
three straight 40-point games Feb. 24-27. He and Thompson are the
first set of teammates to each score 40 points in back-to-back games
in a season since the Denver Nuggets' Alex English and Kiki
Vandeweghe in 1982-83. ... Warriors backup SF Brandon Rush bruised
his right kneecap in the third quarter and was unavailable to finish
the game. ... The Warriors rested veteran backup PG Shaun
Livingston, who played a total of 48 minutes in Golden State's
previous two contests. ... An MRI on 76ers PF Nerlens Noel's right
knee Saturday revealed just a bone bruise. Noel is likely to return
to game action later this week. ... With C Jahlil Okafor (knee), C
Joel Embiid (foot), PF Richaun Holmes (Achilles) and Noel all out of
action Sunday, the 76ers promoted PF Christian Wood from the
Delaware 87ers of the NBA Development League. Wood played a
scoreless five minutes against the Warriors. ... Philadelphia waived
SG Sonny Weems to create a roster spot for Wood.
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