OAKLAND -- The Sixers were just a tad better on Monday night.
After suffering a 45-point defeat to the Clippers on Sunday, the Sixers lost by 43 in a 123-80 loss to the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena on Monday (see Instant Replay).
The Sixers, who lost for the seventh straight time and watched their record dip to 15-38, became just the second team in NBA history to lose consecutive games by 40 points or more. The first team was the 1994 76ers.
The last games would suggest that the Sixers are not giving the necessary effort to compete. While head coach Brett Brown understands that logic, he still sees something different.
“It is hard for everybody because the reality is they have put in so much time. Despite all the turmoil, they are a group that has stayed together,” Brown said. “At times you look up and you have to keep on playing with some level of dignity and it is hard doing that, but for the most part I thought they did that.”
Former Sixer Marreese Speights caught fire in the critical second quarter when he scored 17 of the Warriors’ 37 points. Golden State outscored the Sixers 37-12 during the second quarter to turn an eight-point advantage into a 66-33 lead at the break.
“I don’t think that score was reflective of the defense,” Brown insisted. “We couldn’t score. We couldn’t make a shot. Look at what we shot from the three-point line the last two nights (a combined 5 for 45), and then that carries over to the other side.”
Despite the game being well in hand, that didn’t stop Speights from pouring it on against his former team. The forward added 15 more points after intermission to finish with a career-high 32 points and eight rebounds.
“He had a rhythm,” Brown said. “The crowd was encouraging him to continue on. He had a preference of shooting jump shots and tonight he was really good at it and we give him credit.”
It didn’t matter where the Sixers’ shots were coming from on the floor, they simply weren’t going in the basket. They shot 36.7 percent in the game and had 11 shots blocked.
“To lose like that is tough, but at the same time there are 30 more games on the schedule,” said Evan Turner, who scored 12 points. “It is a choice, feeling defeated is a choice. We just have to keep our heads up and stay together.”
Brown knew there would be nights like this when he agreed to become the Sixers’ coach and he feels it’s his obligation to keep his players’ spirits high during these tough times.
“The situation is real in regards to working hard and spending time with one another,” Brown said. “How do you keep it up? Who knows. I know everybody is going to make sure they do their job and make sure they remember who is in the room. There are good people in that room.”
The Sixers will attempt to put this behind them when they close out their three-game road trip against Utah on Wednesday.