DeMarcus Cousins shoots a reverse layup against Joel Embiid of the 76ers Thursday night. Photo via Noah Graham, Getty Images, NBAE
Friday February 1, 2019 — Last night was a typical Warrior performance; strong first half with great defense and a weak second half based off the assumption they had the win in the bag.
Unfortunately for the Dubs, Ben Simmons (26 points, six assists, eight rebounds) and Joel Embiid (26 points, 20 rebounds, five assists) beat Steph Curry’s 41 point night in the end.
This was one of those games the Warriors needed a big guy like DeMarcus Cousins (seven points, six assists, six rebounds), to play aggressive defense against Embiid. While Cousins was in, although not performing 100%, he still made an impact on the game. There were a number of times when Cousins deserved a foul call, but we can leave that complaint for a playoff/finals game. It was hard for anyone to guard Embiid, 20 offense and defense rebounds combined, the man was a beast in the paint.
Kevon Looney has been a key player this season (in my opinion). He is constantly fighting for rebounds and somehow finds a way to slam a missed three into the basket. This Twitter recap pretty much sums it up:
Klay Thompson was out with a headache, forcing the killer points to come from KD and Curry. Curry played as best he could, shooting corner three’s and moving around as much as the defense permitted him to. Durant on the other hand, did not perform as he usually does when the pressure is high. The Dubs shot 5-for-21 from the three point line…He seemed to be gliding through the game, as if the win or loss didn’t truly matter. I mean, I understand it doesn’t but that shouldn’t mean they lose a 10 point lead over it.
The performance by the 76ers in the second half was electric. They forced the Warriors to 15 turnovers, a key factor that has been their downfall all season. Jonah Bolden was great on defense, he blocked some attempted shots from KD, poked a pass which resulted in a turnover; the team was fluid and on fire.
Simple plays, aggressive actions and the fire to win truly drove the 76ers to perform so exemplary against the Warriors. The Warriors play the Lakers at home on Saturday night and Lebron James is back in the lineup. Hopefully with a healthy Thompson and a driven Durant the Warriors can redeem this loss with a crushing win against the Lakers.