After a successful two-game road trip, the Sixers return home tonight for a nationally-televised primetime game against the two-time defending champion Golden State Warriors. It will be Philadelphia’s fifth game without Joel Embiid, who is out with what the team is now describing as knee tendinitis. The Sixers have rallied without the big man, however, winning three of their first four games coming out of the All-Star break. Thursday’s win against the Thunder also came without backup center Boban Marjanovic, who has a bone bruise and mild sprain of his right knee.
The last time these two teams met was a little over a month ago, when the Sixers pulled off the 113-104 upset in the Bay Area. In that contest, the Warriors received 41 points from Steph Curry, while Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons paced the Sixers with 26 points apiece. Klay Thompson sat out that game for Golden State, and it was just under a week before Philadelphia general manager Elton Brand landed Tobias Harris (and others) in a deal with the Los Angeles Clippers.
Harris, of course, has been the driving source of the Sixers’ offense this past week in Embiid’s absence. He has five straight 20-point games, setting new Sixer-highs in each of the last two contests, 29 points against the Pelicans and 32 points against Oklahoma City. Either Draymond Green or Kevin Durant would provide an interesting matchup for Tobias, though, as they are among the few guys in the NBA both big and quick enough to deal with him.
The Sixers are catching the Warriors at a good time — this is the last game of their four-game road trip and third game in the past four nights. They were victims of the Miami nightlife and a crazy Dwyane Wade buzzer-beater in a loss to the Heat Wednesday night, and then fell to Orlando in a SEGABABA on Thursday. The Warriors rested Kevin Durant for that Magic game, and Andre Iguodala sat out with an illness, but the former Sixers star should be fine for tonight’s game. However, it seems like there is a legitimate chance Klay Thompson sits out with knee soreness.
Philadelphia enters Saturday tied in the loss column and just a half game back of the Indiana Pacers for the third seed in the Eastern Conference. The Pacers have an easier test tonight, hosting the Orlando Magic. A win over the defending champs without Embiid would be another nice mark of resilience for the Sixers; Golden State is a 4-point favorite according to the time wizards in Vegas.
Join us here tonight as we follow all the exciting action back at the Center. Maybe we’ll even get a Bryce Harper Bell Ringer sighting?
Who: (40-22) Philadelphia 76ers vs. (43-19) Golden State Warriors
When: 8:30 pm EST
Where: The Center, Philadelphia, PA
Listen: 97.5 The Fanatic
Philadelphia: Joel Embiid - knee (out); Boban Marjanovic - knee (out); Furkan Korkmaz - knee (out); Zhaire Smith - on assignment in G League (out); Shake Milton - finger (out)
Golden State: Klay Thompson - knee (questionable); Andre Iguodala - illness (questionable); Kevon Looney - pelvis (questionable); Damian Jones - pectoral (out)