Halley’s comet, blood moon, solar eclipse — you have the opportunity tonight to witness something as rare as any of those astronomical events: the Philadelphia 76ers earning a second-straight road win. There have only been two stretches this season where the Sixers, 10-23 on the road overall, have won consecutive games away from home — they won three straight road games to start the season from October 26 to November 2, and consecutive road games over New York and Brooklyn in January. Fresh off Thursday night’s 125-108 victory over the Sacramento Kings, the Sixers can complete the Herculean task tonight against the Warriors.
Although the Warriors are a league-worst 14-49 on the season, the Sixers are catching them at an inopportune time. Steph Curry made his return to the court Thursday night after missing 58 games with a broken hand. The Warriors may have lost by eight to Toronto, but the Chase Center had a rejuvenated, season-opener-like atmosphere. Curry looked like his old self, scoring 23 points, while winging a behind-the-back assist, sinking a 28-footer to beat the shot clock, and converting a four-point play from the top of the key. Steph will likely still be on a 24-28 minutes limit, but that is more than enough time to inflict serious damage, especially if Draymond Green returns to action tonight and that championship duo works their old pick-and-roll game.
Meanwhile, although Joel Embiid is reportedly hopeful to play on Wednesday, the Sixers will remain without his services, in addition to those of Ben Simmons and Josh Richardson tonight in the Bay Area. In the absence of those stars, Tobias Harris and Shake Milton have carried the offensive load for Philadelphia. Across his last four games, Harris is averaging 26.3 points, 8.0 rebounds, and 4.0 assists, while shooting 53.7 percent from the field and 48.0 percent from 3. In addition to walking onto the set of The Jump and having Kings fans googling who he is during the game, Shake has averaged 22.0 points across his past five contests, shooting 67.7 percent from 3 across that period on over six attempts per game.
Tonight will be a homecoming of sorts for two current Sixers, as Alec Burks and Glenn Robinson III play their former team after coming to Philadelphia in a trade-deadline move last month. Robinson exploded for 25 points on 10-of-15 shooting two games ago against the Lakers, but was quiet again on Thursday, scoring just five points in 29 minutes against Sacramento. Burks seems to have found his groove in Philadelphia lately; he has scored at least 12 points in each of the last three games and four of the last five.
Despite the 1-2 record, this trip to the West Coast has been largely viewed as a positive. The Sixers were fun and competitive in losses to the Lakers and Clippers, and had a number of guys step up in the win over the Kings. Shake Milton appears to have leveled up and secured the last spot in the starting lineup even when everyone is back to full health. Even with Steph Curry back, the Warriors are still a very young, inexperienced team, and the oddsmakers have the Sixers as slight favorites to win tonight. Riding a two-game winning streak on the road with Joel Embiid’s return on the horizon would sure be an encouraging way to head back to Philadelphia.
Who: Philadelphia 76ers vs. Golden State Warriors
When: 8:30 pm ET
Where: Chase Center, San Francisco, CA
Listen: 97.5 The Fanatic
Philadelphia: Ben Simmons (out - back); Joel Embiid (out, hopeful for Wednesday - shoulder); Josh Richardson (out - concussion)
Golden State: Klay Thompson (out - knee); Draymond Green (out - knee); Kevon Looney (out - hip); Ky Bowman (out - ankle); Alen Smailagic (out - quad) Steph Curry (out- illness)
Update: Steph Curry and Draymond Green are both out for tonight’s game.
Steph Curry (illness) and Draymond Green (knee soreness) are out vs. the Sixers. This is now an extremely winnable game.— Paul Hudrick (@PaulHudrick) March 7, 2020