The Sixers had every opportunity to win their second straight road game and come out of a West Coast swing 2-2 without three starters.
Instead, they collapsed in the fourth quarter and lost to the woefully shorthanded Warriors, 118-114, Saturday night at Chase Center.
Joel Embiid (left shoulder sprain), Ben Simmons (nerve impingement in lower back) and Josh Richardson (concussion protocol) all remained out. The Warriors were without Stephen Curry (illness) and Draymond Green (left knee soreness). Klay Thompson is out for the season as he rehabs a torn left ACL.
The loss drops the Sixers to 10-24 on the road and 38-26 overall. They return home Wednesday to take on the Pistons (7 p.m./NBCSP).
Here are observations from the loss:
Offense hums, defense non-existent
The Sixers were strong from deep their entire road trip, hitting 45 percent from three over the last three games coming in. They once again shot the ball well from beyond, going 13 of 34 (38.2 percent). The Sixers also had 29 assists on 41 made field goals. Brett Brown has talked about the Sixers' need to play a team game with their All-Star duo out and they made good on that for the bulk of the road trip.
While the offense hummed, this was not a strong defensive effort. Against a team that’s severely shorthanded, the Sixers allowed the Warriors to shoot 55 percent. This is where the Sixers have felt the absences of Embiid and Simmons the most.
The Sixers lost the fourth quarter 36-24, allowing Golden State to hit 12 of 18 from the field. Villanova product Eric Paschall, who was available for the Sixers to take in the second round this past draft, and former Drexel Dragon Damion Lee burned the Sixers for 23 and 24 points, respectively.
Playing through Horford
Al Horford picked up right where he left off the other night in Sacramento, scoring the Sixers’ first seven points and making his first three shots. With Embiid and Simmons out, Brown actually ran the offense through Horford in the post and on the elbow. The results were good.
The veteran big had a game-high 13 first-half points to go along with four rebounds and three assists. He finished with 22 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists. Horford has appeared to round into form over the last couple games, but will he be able to continue playing like this when Embiid returns to the lineup?
Conversely, Tobias Harris struggled early on, going 3 of 14 in the first half. Harris was aggressive but simply wasn’t able to finish around the rim and couldn’t get it going from the outside. He was much better in the second half (16 points, 7 of 9) and hit a couple big shots. He finished with 24.
It was a relatively quiet night for Shake Milton, who scored 14 points.
Formers Warriors play their roles
Glenn Robinson III and Alec Burks returned to the Chase Center for the first time as Sixers since the veteran wing duo was traded ahead of the deadline.
Robinson, who has shown encouraging signs throughout the West Coast swing, was as active as he’s been since becoming a Sixer. He was especially good in the third quarter in helping the Sixers extend their lead to eight heading into the fourth. He filled up the stat sheet with 15 points, six rebounds, three assists, a block and a steal. He did struggle defensively down the stretch, committing a bad foul on Lee for an and-one.
Burks provided a nice scoring spark in the second quarter but was quiet in the second half, finishing with 11 points (4 of 8) against his former team.
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