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February 27, 2017

Sixers 108, Warriors 119: Live Blog and Chat Wrap

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With the Golden State Warriors in town to take on the Sixers, we’re going to try to cover the game a bit differently: I’m going to live blog the game and hopefully y’all will contribute with me in the comments.

Who: Sixers (22-36) vs. Warriors (49-9)
When: 7:10 p.m.
Where: Wells Fargo Center
Matchup to watch: Kevin Durant vs. Dario Saric (19.4 points, 8.6 rebounds in last eight games)
Television: Comcast SportsNet, Stream: CSNPhilly.com
Radio: 97.5 The Fanatic
Boxscore: NBA.com
Betting odds: Golden State -14 (per Bovada)

Fourth quarter

9:32: Unlike last year's game, this one never got close down the stretch. Despite Curry shooting an obscene 7-23 (0-11 from long range), the Warriors beat the Sixers 119-108 here at the Wells Fargo Center.

9:10: Not usually a huge fan of playing music during games, but the "Paid in Full" instrumental is easily my favorite.

9:08: DOWN GOES DARIO! After an offensive rebound, Saric takes a vicious (but unintentional) elbow from one of the NBA's toughest guys in David West. After staying on the ground for a minute, Dario dusts himself off and makes two flagrant foul shots. His jumper isn't falling tonight, but Saric's effort has still been there.

9:03: Green shows why he's a first team all-defense player, stripping Okafor clean in the post, pushing the ball in transition, and finding Thompson for a spot-up three. Seven turnovers to only one assist for Jah.

Third quarter

8:56: Weird game with Curry shooting 0-10 from deep and the Sixers still down 93-80 to the Warriors. Defensive rebounding has been a major problem all game.

8:52: Sixers are battling, but they're unable to cut this Warriors lead under double-digits playing undersized with Saric at center. And oh yeah, Justin Anderson just hit the side of the backboard on a corner 3.

8:45: Saric's shot has been flat tonight (0-6 3P), but I still don't like him passing up open threes for a Holmes three. Keep shooting, Dario.

8:42: With Curry still off (4-16 FG), Covington and the Sixers are hanging around. On an exciting sequence, the crowd and the Warriors got a bit angry with the refs, who are letting the players play both ways. GSW up 77-70.

8:33: Fifth foul on Okafor, charging. Holmes checks in.

8:30: Rough couple of minutes to start the second half for the Sixers, which included a Pachulia three-point play to draw Okafor's fourth foul. With Golden State now up 10, you have to wonder if Brown will get Holmes back in the game for Okafor.

Second quarter

8:10: This might be the worst that the Warriors will shoot all year. They're 1-16 from beyond the arc and still somehow up three points. Warriors 59, Sixers 56 at the half.

7:58: Richaun Holmes is doing Richaun Holmes things: catching lobs above the rim, blocking shots, and providing the Sixers with energy off the bench.

7:54: Nice hustle from Saric on the offensive boards leads to a Henderson triple, which leads to a Steve Kerr timeout. Sixers cut the lead to 46-40.

7:50: Rough couple of minutes for Jahlil Okafor ends with him charging into David West for his third foul. Sixers offense has been poor for a few minutes now and the Dubs lead is now 10.

7:42: Game ops goes to the bandwagon cam, and it's safe to say they have a few options. There are a ton of Dubs "fans" in the building tonight.

7:40: Justin Anderson checks into the game... and Thompson knocks down the Dubs' first three. With GSW up 37-31, Brett Brown takes a timeout.

First quarter

7:36: After one quarter, it's Warriors 32, Sixers 31. Missed opportunity for the home team, as Golden State is 0-8 from deep. One area where the Sixers are getting killed is the defensive glass. Golden State rebounded 53.8 percent of its misses that quarter, which can't continue.

7:33: This is one of the worst quarters I have seen Curry play. The two-time MVP is currently 1-6 from the field and 0-5 from deep with a couple of airballs.

7:26: El Chacho has given the Sixers some good early minutes off the bench, attacking Curry to the tune of seven points (3-3 FG) and an alley-oop to Richaun Holmes:

7:20: The Warriors wings (Durant and Green) are having success exploiting the Sixers' smaller players after switches. The good news is that the Sixers' offense is humming. 22-21 Warriors with 5:36 left in the first.

7:16: Robert Covington has incredible hands. RoCo stripped Kevin Durant clean in transition, which led to an Okafor layup on the other end.

7:13: Rough start for Saric. First he blows a wide-open dunk in the halfcourt and then a few possessions later, Kevin Durant blows by the rookie.

7:10: Your starters tonight for Golden State: Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green, and Zaza Pachulia. Yup, they're at full strength. The Sixers, who are definitely not at full strength, counter with a McConnell-Henderson-Covington-Saric-Okafor starting five.

Pregame notes

Throughout the last 3.5 seasons, Brett Brown has been, in my opinion, an absolute dream from a media perspective. It has been interesting to watch him the past few weeks though, because for the first time in my memory, he's unwilling to talk about something: Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons medical updates. Before tonight's game against Golden State, he began his press availability by pointing to Bryan Colangelo's interview on Comcast SportsNet and refusing to comment on the subject.

"Come on, let's get going with the game," Brown said. "It's all there [in the transcript] for everybody."

Here was what Colangelo said about Embiid: "Over the course of the last, in recent days, his training has developed a reaction with swelling and soreness and fuss. Wanted to take a step back, put him on ice for a minute and make sure we do everything possible, including getting another scan done today."

And here is Colangelo on Simmons' rehab and the bone marrow injection in his right foot: "The scans most recently showed that although there was improvement in scans in the development there, it wasn't enough and it wasn't fully healed and without full healing, we don't want to put him out on the court. So the procedure today, a minor procedure, bone morrow injection is simply a means of trying to stimulate bone growth and develop a stronger bone."

To the surprise of nobody, the Sixers reached  buyout with Andrew Bogut, freeing the veteran center to join a contender.

"I spoke with him at length," Brown said. "His goals aren't sort of aligned with ours and he feels, and I agree with him, he wants to play on a playoff team at this stage of his career and make an impact from that vision lens. More playoff oriented than trying to build something, and I respect his candidness. I would've like to have had him."

Bogut is now free to join a contender, and he has been linked with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

I wrote a post a few years ago about how much it is to watch Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson simply shoot in warmups. Steph can still shoot a little bit:

News of the day

• I wrote about how the Sixers are very, very good at saving money by reaching the salary cap floor as late as possible.

• More bad news on the injury front, as Joel Embiid is out indefinitely.

Preview

There are so many things going on around the Philadelphia 76ers at the moment that a visit from the Golden State Warriors, the greatest show on hardwood, feels like it has gone a little bit under the radar.

Perhaps as recently as a month ago, this matchup would have been considered must-see TV around the NBA. Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons going up against the Splash Brothers, Kevin Durant, and Draymond Green is the stuff League Pass junkies dream about.

Oh well, maybe next year.

Without Embiid and Simmons, the Sixers played a couple of really good, competitive games over the weekend against Washington and New York. Back at the Wells Fargo Center, we’ll see if they can hang against the title favorites.

(Before you dismiss this game as a blowout, the last two games between the Sixers and Dubs in Philly have been close. The 10-win Sixers lost to the 73-win Warriors at the buzzer last season.)

Game stories frankly don’t do much traffic, which is understandable in this digital age. So, I though that in an effort to cover games better, what if we simply offered observations, GIFs, quotes, and analysis in real time while also taking time to chat with you, the fans, in the comments?

I have seen this work in other cities and think it has the chance to work here. And if not, well, you have to be willing to fail.


Follow Rich on Twitter: @rich_hofmann

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