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Sixers spoil Cousins home debut, snap Warriors winning streak

BY DANIEL GLUSKOTER

Returning to Oracle Arena riding a season-high 11 game winning streak, the Warriors were ambushed by the Philadelphia 76ers Thursday night 113-104, spoiling the home debut of DeMarcus Cousins.

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER Golden State’s Kevin Durant drives to the basket during the Warriors 113-104 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers at Oracle Arena. Durant finished with 25 points, but it wasn’t enough to maintain the Warriors 11 game winning streak.

Fresh off of sweeping a five game road trip, Golden State appeared to be in sync throughout the first half, taking a 60-53 lead into the locker room, behind 23 points from Steph Curry. But the third quarter, usually a strong spot for the Warriors, proved to be their undoing as the Sixers outscored them by a margin of 42-26.

Curry led the way for the Warriors with 41 points, going 10-18 from three point range. But the rest of the team shot a paltry 1-20 from behind the arc. It’s the first time the Warriors have lost with Curry scoring 10 or more three pointers since the 2013 season.

Kevin Durant added 25 points while Kevon Looney tallied 14 off the bench. Cousins, going up against one of the premiere centers in the game in just his sixth game back, played a season high 25 minutes for the second game in a row as he continues his comeback from a season ending achilles injury last season. He finished with seven points to go along with six rebounds and six assists.

Golden State was also badly outplayed on the boards. The Sixers out rebounded them 49-37, led by All-Star center Joel Embiid’s 26 point, 20 rebound effort. Ben Simmons also scored 26 to go along with eight rebounds and six assists. JJ Redick added 15.

After the game, Warriors coach Steve Kerr made no excuses. “We weren’t there mentally and we weren’t there competitively and we got what we deserved. They totally outplayed us in the second half. We should have had a much bigger lead at halftime, but we got really carless and then they took it to us in the second half. We weren’t ready. We didn’t respond with competitive desire, intelligence and execution. We got what we deserved.”

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER DeMarcus Cousins closes in on the basket for a slam dunk, his first points in his Oracle debut as a member of the Warriors, during the 76ers 113-104 win over Golden State Thursday night.

The 104 point output was the least the Warriors have scored since their Christmas Day massacre against the Lakers. They are now 0-9 on the season when being held to 105 points or less.

Next up is a Saturday evening rematch with those same Lakers. LeBron James returned to action Thursday for the first time since injuring his groin during his last visit to Oracle. Tip-Off for the nationally televised game on ABC is slated for 5:30pm.

GAME NOTES:

Steph Curry’s 213 three-pointers make him the first player in NBA history to surpass the 200 plateau in seven straight seasons.

The Warriors 11 game winning streak was the longest in the NBA this season. This is the sixth straight season Golden State has had a double-digit winning streak, tying the San Antonio Spurs for the longest streak in the history of the four major professional sports.

Tonight was the first time Philadelphia has won a game against Golden State since March 2, 2013. 

The Sixers 42 points in tonight’s third quarter was the most the Warriors have allowed to any opponent in that quarter this season.

Draymond Green posted a team-high eight rebounds and a game-high 10 assists, his ninth double-digit assist game of the season.

Alfonzo McKinnie made his first NBA start, scoring 11 points on a perfect five-of-five from the field. McKinnie was thrust into the starting lineup due to Klay Thompson missing his first game of the season due to illness.

About Daniel Gluskoter

Daniel Gluskoter is the Martinez Tribune's national music and sports editor and a Bay Area photojournalist who's work has been featured in Rolling Stone, Time Magazine and Sports Illustrated. He covered the 2008 Presidential campaign as a correspondent for United Press International and has travelled worldwide covering events ranging from numerous Super Bowls and Olympics to Live Aid and the Grammys.

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