Philadelphia 76ers

How Warriors' Damion Lee made good on Eric Paschall's faith in him

How Warriors' Damion Lee made good on Eric Paschall's faith in him

SAN FRANCISCO -- Eric Paschall had a question for Damion Lee in the closing seconds of the Warriors' 118-114 win over the 76ers on Saturday night at Chase Center. 

"What I tell you?" Paschall screamed rhetorically.

"What I tell you?" the rookie screamed once more.

Paschall's inquisitive nature was born less than 48 hours earlier, when a troubling sequence from Lee turned a winnable game against the Raptors into a bitter defeat. But the rookie's inquiry came on the end of a 24-point performance from Lee that included clutch play to make good on Paschall's faith.

"It's huge," Lee said of Paschall's support. "That goes to show what kind of people they are, what kind of organization we have. This is a brotherhood, and obviously, we go through ups and downs, we're always going to show up and defend each other."

Paschall's defense came following a unique sequence for Lee. Despite scoring 23 points against Toronto on Thursday, he missed two free-throw attempts in the final 30 seconds that could've brought the Warriors within a point. Then he missed a wide-open 3-pointer. Making matters worse, he then committed a clear-path foul, essentially sealing Golden State's 49th loss of the season.

The sequence led to widespread criticism on social media. The slander caught the eye of Paschall, who thumbed two responses on Twitter.

"People over here slandering @Dami0nLee but my man played a hell of a game!," Paschall wrote. "Some of y’all don’t understand this man's journey!"

"This my dawg!" Paschall wrote in another tweet. "It’s bigger than ball!"

"People forget the whole game after he had a little rough sequence, which is out of his control. " Paschall told NBC Sports Bay Area after Saturday's win. "He had a good look at the top of the key, he had a good look at the free-throw line. Both went in and out."

"I saw too much slander on Twitter, and I feel like people forgot that he had a good game, so I did it. You always got to have your teammate's back no matter what."

Paschall's support seemed to work two nights later. Under the same circumstances, Lee flourished, taking over down the stretch.

Four minutes into the fourth quarter, Lee received a ball screen from Marquese Chriss, drove into the lane and dropped in a floater to get Golden State within four. Five minutes later, he dropped in another floater to tie the score. A minute after, he hit a left-handed layup to give the Warriors a one-point lead they never relinquished.

[RELATED: No end in sight for Looney's injuries]

By the end of the stretch, Lee had scored nine of his team-high 24 points, helping the Warriors outscore the Sixers 36-24 in the fourth quarter and making good on Paschall's words while denying the spotlight.

"I hate things being about me," Lee said. "I just want to enjoy the game and be surrounded by love and surrounded by my teammates. What happened on Thursday happened, but the beauty about the league is you play basically every other day."

Warriors takeaways: What we learned in strong 118-114 win over 76ers

Warriors takeaways: What we learned in strong 118-114 win over 76ers

BOX SCORE

SAN FRANCISCO -- Even in a season of transition, the Warriors' grit has won them games they were seemingly overmatched. The trend continued on Saturday night as they beat the Philadelphia 76ers 118-114 at Chase Center. 

The win was aided by clutch performances down the stretch, including 18 points from 10-day contract recipient Mychal Mulder, who hit two 3-pointers in the fourth quarter. 

Damion Lee added 24 points as the Warriors (15-49) won for the third time in five games. The win over the Sixers (38-26) came without Stephen Curry, who sat out with flu-like symptoms and Draymond Green, who continues to deal with a sore knee. 

Here are the takeaways from Saturday's win. 

Eric Paschall shines

Paschall has shown signs of an All-Rookie season in recent weeks and continued his strong play on Saturday, finishing with 23 points, three rebounds and six assists off the bench. 

Paschall got started in the second quarter, scoring 11 points in nine minutes, helping the Warriors get within two points of Philly at halftime. By the end of the third quarter, he was tied for the team-high in points. 

Similar performances have become a common occurrence recently. Entering Saturday, Paschall was averaging 17.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.6 assists since the All-Star break, shedding any remnants of the so-called "rookie wall." 

At this point, Paschall has refined his game to the point NBA observers are wondering how he'll fit alongside the team's All-Star core of Curry, Green and Klay Thompson next season. Until then, expect more of the same from the rookie. 

Andrew Wiggins struggles

In what's become a common occurrence during his short tenure in Golden State, Wiggins followed up a solid performance with a dud. By the end of the night, he finished with just 10 points on a putrid 3-of-10 from the field. 

The performance deviated from a recent positive stretch from Wiggins. Entering Saturday, he was averaging 23 points over his last three games, including a 22-point, 10-assist performance against the Nuggets on Tuesday. During his time in Minnesota, Wiggins developed a reputation of inconsistency, casting doubt that he could be a franchise cornerstone. 

While Wiggins isn't expected to carry Golden State's offense on most nights, his consistency will be needed even as a third option. The Warriors have until October to make that happen.

[RELATED: Looney out three more weeks]

Glenn Robinson III and Alec Burks return

Both players had solid games in their respective returns. Burks finished with 11 points, including two 3-pointers while Robinson III poured in 15 points. 

The two know the court at Chase Center well, having played on it for the first three months of the season, resurrecting their careers along the way. Additionally, each player provided a veteran presence in the Warriors' locker room, grooming rookies Jordan Poole and Eric Paschall. Prior to the game, Poole and Paschall made a b-line to Robinson, who was finishing his pregame workout, to reminisce on old times. 

While the Sixers' duo enjoyed a solid night, each player has seen their numbers dwindle at their new place of employment, crippling their chance for a summer payday. Nonetheless, the Sixers provide an opportunity for each player to reach the postseason.

Warriors-76ers live stream: How to watch NBA game live online, on TV

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AP

Warriors-76ers live stream: How to watch NBA game live online, on TV

Neither the Philadelphia 76ers (38-25) nor the Warriors (14-49) will be at full strength Saturday at Chase Center. 

Steph Curry (seasonal flu), Draymond Green (knee soreness) and Klay Thompson (left ACL rehab) are out for Golden State, as are Philadelphia stars Joel Embiid (left shoulder sprain) and Ben Simmons (never impingement in lower back). 

The Warriors will get a glimpse at some familiar faces, however. Alec Burks and Glenn Robinson III were traded to the 76ers ahead of February trade deadline, and both players are playing big minutes off Philly's bench. Burks is averaging 11.1 points, 3.1 rebounds and 1.7 assists in a hair over 20 minutes per game, while Robinson is averaging 7.2 assists and 2.5 rebounds in just over 18 minutes a night. 

[RELATED: Steph out with flu, but rule out coronavirus]

Here's how to watch Saturday's game online and on TV. 

When: Saturday March 7 at 8:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. PT
TV: ABC
Live stream: WatchESPN