Warriors

Warriors takeaways: What we learned in skid-ending 120-117 win vs. 76ers

Warriors takeaways: What we learned in skid-ending 120-117 win vs. 76ers

BOX SCORE

The Warriors were outrebounded, had fewer assists, missed 10 free throws and spent much of the game trailing against the powerful Philadelphia 76ers.

But they were the better team in the second half Saturday, and came away with a 120-117 victory over the 76ers at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.

Stephen Curry scored nine of his 28 points over the final 3:41 and Kevin Durant drained a free throw with 4.5 seconds remaining to punctuate his 34-point night and allow the Warriors (44-19) to hold off the 76ers.

Here are three quick takeaways from the final contest of the four-game Eastern Conference road trip:

Third-quarter mojo

For the second consecutive game, the Warriors turned up the defense in the third quarter and put themselves in position to win. They couldn’t hang on Thursday in Orlando against the Magic, but finished the job and fended off the Sixers on Saturday.

The Warriors were down 12 at the half, and 14 one minute into the third quarter. They responded with a 15-0 run to take a 72-71 lead with 7:59 remaining. Just like that, in a span of three minutes, the game was there for the taking.

The 76ers went 0-of-5 from the field during that stretch,  and were forced into two turnovers.

In winning the quarter 38-23, the Warriors held Philadelphia to 38.1-percent shooting and forced six turnovers.

The Warriors needed a boost at both ends in the third, getting 12 points from Durant on one end while Green and Durant also played splendid defense.

Family support helps

Curry picked up two fouls in the first quarter, had three at the half and got his fourth with 8:15 left in the third quarter. He was playing well enough, but couldn’t stay on the count to make a massive imprint on the game.

Enter Damion Lee, the two-way Warrior who happens to be Curry’s brother-in-law.

Lee scored 12 points on 4-of-5 shooting from beyond the arc over the first three quarters. That, along with Curry’s 17 points through three quarters, gave the Curry family 29 points through 36 minutes.

Given Lee’s crucial contribution while Curry was on the bench, the two-time MVP owes his brother-in-law.

[RELATED: Grading every Warriors player three-quarters in]

Early defense still MIA

The Warriors, once again, didn’t play championship-level defense early, perhaps because this is not the postseason.

But it happens far too often for a team with title aspirations, and this game was the latest example.

Philadelphia shot 52.4 percent from the field in the first quarter, and 54.5 percent in the second. That marked six quarters of the last 10 where opponents topped 50 percent against the Warriors.

Having dug quite the hole, trailing by as much as 14, the Warriors had to scramble, scratch and kick to climb out and come back for the victory.

Still, it’s a habit they’ll need to break. Sooner, rather than later.

Warriors vs. Kings watch guide: Lineups, injuries and player usage

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USATSI

Warriors vs. Kings watch guide: Lineups, injuries and player usage

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Warriors have made a habit of beating the Kings in recent years, but that trend could change Sunday afternoon as the two teams match up for the first time this season.

Entering Sunday's game, the Warriors have won the last five meetings, sweeping last year’s season series. However, the Kings (11-14) are the team with postseason aspirations, while the Warriors (5-22) are NBA draft lottery-bound with most of their All-Stars out injured. 

[RELATED: How to watch Warriors vs. Kings online, on TV]

Before the game, Warriors coach Steve Kerr gave an update on Eric Paschall's status.

Coverage begins on NBC Sports Bay Area at 4:30 p.m. and tipoff is scheduled for 5:40. 

PROJECTED LINEUPS 

Warriors
F TBA
F Draymond Green
C WIllie Cauley-Stein
G D'Angelo Russell
G Glenn Robinson III

Kings
G Cory Joseph
G Buddy Hield
C Richaun Holmes
F Nemanja Bjelica
F Harrison Barnes

INJURY REPORT

Kings: Kyle Guy (G League assignment) and DaQuan Jeffries (G League assignment) are out. De'Aaron Fox (left ankle sprain) is doubtful. 

Warriors: Ky Bowman (G League assignment), Stephen Curry (left-hand fracture), Alen Smailagic (G League assignment, Klay Thompson (left ACL rehabilitation) and Eric Paschall (left hip soreness) are out.

ROTATION OUTLOOK

Warriors: D'Angelo Russell will play against Luke Walton -- his former coach with the Los Angeles Lakers -- on Sunday afternoon, and Russell is building a healthy résumé. In 15 games, he's averaging 22.4 points and 6.1 assists, leading the battered Warriors in scoring. Alec Burks has scored in double figures in his last nine appearances. However, the Warriors defense still needs work, as Golden State is giving up 114.2 points per game. Former King Willie Cauley-Stein should get the start against his former team, something he seems excited about. 

Kings: Sharpshooter Buddy Hield is coming off one of his best games of the season, scoring 34 points and grabbing 12 rebounds against the New York Knicks on Friday evening. Over his last 10 games, Hield is averaging 26.5 points, 6.4 rebounds and 3.7 assists. Despite losing Fox to an ankle injury last month, the Kings have inched into the postseason picture and entered Sunday seventh in the Western Conference. However, the Kings haven't won a game against the Warriors on the road since March 2018. 

OFFICIALS: Josh Tiven (No. 58, crew chief), Bill Kennedy (No. 55), Derek Richardson (No. 63) 

Warriors vs. Kings live stream: How to watch NBA game online, on TV

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Warriors vs. Kings live stream: How to watch NBA game online, on TV

It'll be a battle of the Northern California teams as the Warriors host the Kings in San Francisco on MyTeams Day.

The Warriors hope to turn things around while they hold the worst record in the NBA. Perhaps a "turnaround" is overzealous and is not the right term, but something needs to change. 

On the other side of the ball, the Kings are coming off a tough loss to the Knicks on Friday which stopped a three-game winning streak.

The MyTeams festivities are extra special on Sunday with the Holiday Edition and the team is ready:

When: Sunday, Dec. 15, at 5:30 p.m. PT -- pregame coverage begins at 4:30 p.m.
TV Channel: NBC Sports Bay Area
Live Stream: MyTeams App