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Sixers-Warriors Recap: A Matisse Thybulle masterpiece, plus ‘casual’ dominance by Joel Embiid

NBA: Golden State Warriors at Philadelphia 76ers Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Sixers finished their season series with the NBA’s best (by record) Golden State Warriors on Saturday night.

Despite their starters looking shaky through three quarters, the Sixers were able to erase a 13-point lead and grab a huge win.

Here are a few takeaways from Saturday’s huge win over Golden State.

First Quarter

-Tyrese Maxey looked great in the first quarter. He got the Sixers started with nine points in the first frame. He knocked down a couple corner threes along with some nice drives to the basket. He continues to show flashes like this on the defensive end as well.

-Matisse Thybulle shadowed Steph Curry’s minutes and did a good job early on. The Sixers were doubling and tripling Curry as much as they could. They were able to keep Curry to two points on 1-6 shooting in the opening frame, and the Sixers did enough offensively to take a one-point lead into the second.

Second Quarter

-The Sixers started the second strong thanks in large part to Shake Milton and Andre Drummond. Drummond was a menace keeping possessions alive for Philly, as they were able to push their lead to 10 during his shift.

-It wouldn’t last however, as the Sixers starters struggled a lot offensively. The Warriors defended Embiid well, doubling him and successfully keeping him out of the paint and frustrated. Embiid and Maxey checked in about halfway through the second quarter with a nine-point lead. They would enter the half down three.

-Thybulle picked up his third foul with 2:25 left in the half, forcing the Sixers to have someone else guard Steph Curry. Curry immediately hit his first two three-pointers of the game, a big part of the Warriors’ late run before the half.

Third quarter

-The Sixers’ defensive strategy was pretty simple: make any Warriors not named Steph Curry beat them. In the third quarter, that’s what the Warriors did. Steph was quiet, but Jordan Poole and Andrew Wiggins came alive. Poole hit three triples and finished with 11 points in the frame.

-Despite dealing with foul trouble, Thybulle continued to do a great job guarding Curry.

-The Warriors’ lead grew to as big as 13 in the quarter, but another strong burst from the Sixers bench cut the lead to three as the quarter ended. Shake Milton attacked the basket well. Even Furkan Korkmaz finally made a shot!

Fourth Quarter

-The bench picked right up where they left off in the third. They were able to hand off a four-point lead when the starters checked back in.

-The Sixers played tremendous defense in the fourth quarter. They forced four turnovers and held the Warriors to just 20 points. Thybulle defended Steph Curry about as well as anyone has, but the Sixers also caught the Warriors on an off shooting night. They shot 12 of 48 from three, just 25 percent.

-It did not start as one of Embiid’s best games. He was a minus-16 going into the fourth quarter, but he closed this one out just like the Sixers needed him to. Joel finished with a casual 26 points and nine rebounds. It was great to see the Sixers superstar close out a game against an elite team even on an off night.