Golden State display the stuff of champions

Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant dunking against the Philadelphia 76ers during their 124-116 win on Saturday. They recorded the NBA's largest comeback of the season and their fourth, after trailing by double digits.
Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant dunking against the Philadelphia 76ers during their 124-116 win on Saturday. They recorded the NBA's largest comeback of the season and their fourth, after trailing by double digits.PHOTO: REUTERS

PHILADELPHIA (Pennsylvania) • Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr's message at half-time was succinct and his team clearly listened.

The second half was a completely different story and so was the final result.

Stephen Curry scored 35 points, Kevin Durant added 27 and the Warriors rallied from a 22-point half-time deficit for a 124-116 National Basketball Association win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday at the Wells Fargo Centre.

"It was mainly, 'We're not used to being run off the floor'," Kerr said.

"We're the ones usually playing with pace and energy."

That they did for the final 24 minutes after falling behind by 22 points as the third quarter started.

The Warriors completed the NBA's biggest comeback of the season, recorded their fourth comeback from a double-digit deficit this season and fifth comeback of at least 20 points since the start of the 2014-15 season.

Curry responded in a big way after a nine-point performance two nights earlier in 88-92 loss at Boston. He shot 11-of-22 and hit all nine of his free throws.

"Tonight, we started terrible and finished amazing," Curry said. "We'll put it all together."

They won for the fifth straight time in Philadelphia and the 10th consecutive overall in the series, including a sweep this season.

Klay Thompson added 17 points and David West had 14 for the Warriors (12-4). Zaza Pachulia chipped in with 10.

"I thought we were poised in the third quarter," Kerr said after his team outscored Philadelphia 47-15 in the third.

Ben Simmons led the Sixers (8-7) with 23 points, 12 assists and eight rebounds while Joel Embiid added 21 points. Robert Covington and JJ Redick contributed 20 apiece, and Dario Saric had 13 points and 10 rebounds.

The sell-out crowd of 20,848 was loud from the start and reached a fever pitch by half-time when the Sixers shot 60 per cent and surged into a 74-52 lead.

The 74 points by the Sixers set a floor record for points in a half by any team since the arena opened for the 1996-97 season.

However, it was the NBA champions who prevailed ultimately.

"A basketball game is 48 minutes," Embiid said. "You can't play 24 minutes."

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 20, 2017, with the headline 'Golden State display the stuff of champions'. Print Edition | Subscribe