In this season of extreme highs and profound lows, the Warriors on Tuesday gave a national TV audience a fitting snapshot of their season.
Low lows, high highs and, eventually, a 108-98 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers (31-13) in a game the Warriors (22-22) had a chance to win. Five Warriors scored in double figures, led by Kelly Oubre Jr. with 24 points.
The Warriors, trailing by 24 early, put together a phenomenal comeback, mostly with a 40-21 third quarter, to get back in the game. Golden State led 85-80 going into the fourth quarter before fading to a superior team down the stretch.
Here are three takeaways from a game that dropped the Warriors back to an even .500.
Oubre sends his stock soaring
Based on his performance in this game, it appears he is healed.
Oubre’s 24 points came on 8-of-14 shooting from the field, including 2-of-4 beyond the arc. He added a team-high 10 rebounds and three assists and was plus-4 for the game. This easily was his best game since the All-Star break.
For a player well aware that he could be traded, this was an impressive audition. As the Warriors ponder discussions involving Oubre – who will be a free agent at season’s end – this game will make a strong selling point in the coming hours.
D-Lee delivers punch off the bench
It was nine days ago that Lee never left the bench as the Warriors defeated the Utah Jazz at Chase Center, four days ago that the shooting guard scored 21 points in 28 minutes in a win at Memphis and three days ago that he scored five points in 19 minutes.
In his quest to remain in the rotation, Lee has been a bit of a nightly surprise. This time, he was a very pleasant one.
Lee needed only seven shots to pile up 16 points. He was 6-of-7 from the field, including 2-of-3 from distance, adding a pair of free throws in his 24 minutes.
With Poole in the starting lineup due to the absence of Steph Curry, somebody has to bring offense off the bench. Lee is the best bet.
To understand why the 76ers have the best record in the Eastern Conference, check the defense. They’re second in defensive rating. Per game, they’re first in blocks, second in steals and fourth in rebounds.
Bothered by Philly’s length, quickness and activity, the Warriors got off to an atrocious start, missing eight of their first nine shots from the field and falling behind 20-7, 27-9 and 35-11.
Thus, the Warriors were forced to dig out of quite the hole, which they did in pulling into a 74-74 tie with 5:05 remaining in the third quarter.
But the 76ers owned the fourth quarter, and size was a factor. They out-rebounded the Warriors 11-7 in the frame and 51-38 for the game.