Perhaps inspired by the memory of Kobe Bryant, the Warriors played with fire and fury Tuesday night in his hometown.
It wasn’t quite enough to take down the contending 76ers at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.
After trailing by as much as eight, the Sixers opened the fourth quarter with a 9-0 run and wound up slapping a 115-104 defeat on the Warriors.
Despite four players scoring in double figures, led by D’Angelo Russell’s game-high 28 points, and a near triple-double from Draymond Green, the Warriors (10-38) fell for the 14th time in 15 games.
The 76ers (31-17) pushed their home record to an NBA-best 22-2.
Draymond brought it
There have been a few occasions this season when Green, who has coped with an assortment of aches and injuries, was unable to summon his typical energy and production.
This was not one of them.
In 10 first-quarter minutes, Draymond tracked down six rebounds and recorded three assists. He totaled nine points, 12 assists and nine rebounds -- just short of his third triple-double this season -- and also added three blocks and one steal.
It was, effectively and statistically, his strongest game in four weeks.
As someone who had a strong relationship with Bryant, there is no doubt that he wanted to make his mentor proud. He succeeded.
Failures of the bench
Their last game coming last Friday, the Warriors were coming off their longest inactive stint of the season. The starters appeared rejuvenated. The reserves did not.
With the Warriors bench scoring 26 points on 9-of-28 shooting, Philadelphia posted an 11-point advantage in bench scoring.
The individual numbers were, um, ghastly.
Alec Burks, the team’s most reliable bench player, scored 11 points but finished minus-31. Eric Paschall, returning to the city where he played college ball (Villanova), was restricted to 10 minutes because he was whistled for five fouls. He finished minus-12. Backup center and occasional power forward Omari Spellman, another Villanova product, had five points on 2-of-7 shooting and finished minus-20. Rookie guard Jordan Poole shot 1-of-5 over 15 minutes and ended the game minus-12.
Meanwhile, Philly backup point guard Raul Neto scored 19 points in 21 minutes.
A night for the bench to forget.
The Kobe moment
In a prearranged agreement, each team opened the game by taking a turnover as a nod to the late Kobe Bryant.
The 76ers won the opening tip, with center Joel Embiid tapping the ball to guard Ben Simmons, who placed the ball on the floor until eight seconds ticked off. A backcourt violation was whistled, with the turnover giving the ball to the Warriors.
It’s probably the first time in the long history of Philadelphia basketball that the home crowd responded to a Sixers' turnover with a standing ovation.
Russell inbounded in the frontcourt to Green, who immediately placed the ball at his feet. For the next 24 seconds, all 10 players stood silently, each man with his thoughts.
[RELATED: Embiid wears No. 24 as 76ers, Warriors pay tribute to Kobe]
The Warriors took a 24-second possession violation, giving the ball back to the 76ers.
It is safe to presume neither team has any regrets.