Instant Replay: Warriors 110, Sixers 90


Instant Replay: Warriors 110, Sixers 90


The Sixers knew they were in for a track meet against the Golden State Warriors, who came into Monday’s game at the Wells Fargo Center as the league’s second-highest scoring team.

For the first time this season, the Sixers just weren’t able to keep up.

The Sixers were dealt a 110-90 loss for their first defeat of the season and the first under head coach Brett Brown.

The Sixers trailed by 14 points after one quarter, 24 at the half and 35 with 3:25 to go in the third. The Sixers also had a season-high 24 turnovers (see 5 observations).

Andre Iguodala put on a show in his return to the Wells Fargo Center, scoring 32 points.

Turning point
The Sixers pulled the game within six points midway through the second quarter only to allow Golden State to go on a 23-5 run to close out the half.

Follow the leader
Stephen Curry posted a triple-double with 18 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds. It was his second career triple-double. Curry’s first came during his rookie season.

Three other Warriors also scored in double figures.

Evan Turner, along with Michael Carter-Williams, led the Sixers in scoring with 18 points. Carter-Williams shot just 4 for 17 to score his 18 points.

Tony Wroten came off the bench to score 14 for the Sixers.

The Sixers came into the game as the league’s fourth-highest scoring team at 110 points per contest. A poor shooting night had the Sixers scoring just 90 against Golden State.

Brown’s squad shot 35 percent from the floor and 5 for 25 (20 percent) from three-point range.

Golden State shot 45 percent for the game, including a sizzling 15 for 38 (40 percent) from distance.

Take a bow
Iguodala was often criticized for not being an aggressive, take-charge player during the eight years he donned a Sixers uniform.

On Monday night, he decided to show Sixers fans the franchise let a good one get away when it traded him two summers ago.

Iguodala had 27 first-half points. He played 14 minutes in the second half and finished with 32 points, just two shy of his career high. Iguodala was 11 of 18 from the floor, including 7 of 11 from long range.

What’s next?
The Sixers will see Washington at the Wells Fargo Center Wednesday night.

Last Friday, the Sixers picked up a 109-102 road win over the Wizards. The Sixers were led in scoring by Thaddeus Young, who totaled 29 points.

After allowing John Wall to score 15 points in the first quarter, the Sixers limited him to just 11 points over the final three quarters.

Despite shooting struggles, Dario Saric impressive in Sixers' regular-season debut

Despite shooting struggles, Dario Saric impressive in Sixers' regular-season debut

After two years filled with will he or won't he speculation over joining the Sixers, this certainly wasn't the effort Dario Saric had envisioned for his NBA regular-season debut. 

"I felt comfortable, but sometimes it's not your day and this was my bad day," said Saric, who scored five points in the Sixers' 103-97 season-opening loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder. "I'll try to watch the video and fix what I can fix and move forward."

The raw numbers look bad. The rookie forward shot 2 of 12 from the field, including 0 of 4 from three-point range. He did notch seven rebounds and two assists, but also contributed two turnovers.

But as you know, numbers don't always tell the story. 

Saric displayed the offensive versatility and headiness on defense that had the Sixers salivating over him for two years while he played for Anadolu Efes in Turkey. He was able to penetrate in the lane several times against the Thunder on Wednesday night and used pump/head fakes to get his defender off balance, but the shots just didn't fall.

"He struggled with his shot" Sixers head coach Bett Brown said. "But just the physical play, some of the intellect of guarding things suddenly that we all might not pay attention to that coaches do. You see him go out of his way to make a rotation, that he just felt the game. I think that some of his pick-and-roll reads on trying to hit cutters, trying to slow up rollers and still go back to shooters like (Ersan) Ilyasova is, stood out to me.

"He's intelligent. He is a smart basketball player. The stats will show that he didn't make some of his shots, but I think that just that gamesmanship, that intellect stands out to me." 

The only time Saric looked a tad overmatched is when OKC went to its mustachioed muscle tandem of Steven Adams and Enes Kanter inside. After the game, Brown lamented leaving Saric in for so long against that pairing, which combined for 33 points and 17 rebounds on the night.

Teammate Jahlil Okafor tried to come to Saric's aid in those moments, but returning from a torn meniscus and on a minutes restriction, his plan wasn't exactly met with enthusiasm by the coaching staff.

"I actually kind of hinted to the coaches that I wanted to play with him (Embiid) because they put Kanter and Adams in," Okafor said. "I was kind of hinting to the coaches that if they want to play big ball we can play big ball with them."

Their response?

"Stay disciplined. Have your lawyer call my lawyer," Okafor said with a laugh. "That's the go-to line."

Even with Saric's few hiccups on defense, Okafor is confident the 22-year-old Croatian will be able to hold his own against NBA players and get the buckets to start dropping on the offensive end.

"I love Dario. It's been a pleasure having him around," Okafor said. "He's such a selfless guy.

"He did struggle a little bit with his shot, but all of the shots that he missed are shots that we know he can make and shots that we've seen him make since he's been here. So we're good. We know what he's going to do."

Lost in Joel Embiid's night, Jahlil Okafor returns with new role

Lost in Joel Embiid's night, Jahlil Okafor returns with new role

Joel Embiid’s regular-season debut headlined the Sixers' home opener Wednesday, a night two years in the making. He wasn’t the only player coming back from injury, though.

Jahlil Okafor took the court in a regular-season game for the first time since Feb. 28. Okafor underwent surgery in March to repair a right meniscus tear. He suffered a setback during training camp and was limited by soreness in that knee.

Okafor subbed in for Embiid with 7:47 remaining in the first quarter. He totaled eight points (4 for 10 from the field), three rebounds, one block, two fouls and three turnovers in 16 minutes, exceeding the Sixers’ initial minute projection of 12 to 14.

Okafor said his knee felt “good” after the game and did not experience discomfort. 

“I enjoyed myself,” Okafor said following the Sixers' 103-97 defeat to the Thunder (see Instant Replay). “Even though we lost, I enjoyed myself. We had a sold-out crowd. We had a hard-fought battle.”

Okafor’s role on Wednesday was different than it had been his rookie season. The former third overall pick is coming off the bench with a minutes restriction, broken down into segments. 

“It’s different for me,” Okafor said of his playing time. “I’m not used to playing in four-minute clumps. You’re more aware of when you’re going to go in. It kind of helps you a little bit. But it’s not something I want to get used to.”

Okafor is adjusting to a new in-game experience as a reserve. Last season, he started 48 of his 53 games and averaged 30.0 minutes. 

“My main thing was being able to come off the bench, which I’m not really used to, and still stay engaged, trying to stay loose,” Okafor said.

Opening night marked new starts for Okafor, as a player and a member of the Sixers (see 10 observations).

“I was taking a flashback to last year when we were 0-15, 0-16 and we so badly wanted to just restart the season,” he said. “Now we have the opportunity.”