Sixers at Warriors: Joel Embiid scores 46 points in loss to Golden State

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3 observations after special Embiid scores 46, falls for Sixers Warriors originally appeared nbc sports philadelphia

The shorthanded Sixers failed to capitalize on the latest special Joel Embiid performance on Friday.

The team's seven-game road winning streak ended with a 120–112 loss at the Chase Center, despite Embiid's 46-point, nine-rebound, eight-assist outing.

Jordan Poole scored 33 points off the bench for Golden State. Stephen Curry posted 29 points and Klay Thompson posted 21.

James Harden (left Achilles soreness) and Jalen McDaniels (sore right hip) remained out. Daniel House Jr. was also sidelined with right shoulder soreness. Sixers head coach Doc Rivers briefs reporters on pregame There is a possibility that Harden will play against the Suns on Saturday night and “a big chance” he will play in Denver on Monday.

Golden State was without Andrew Wiggins, Gary Payton II, Andre Iguodala and Ryan Rollins.

after sitting out the second half of Sixers win over Bulls on Wednesday Due to right calf tightness, Embiid was apparently good to go.

At 49–24, the Sixers are one game behind the Celtics for the Eastern Conference's No. 2 seed. Boston beat the Pacers on Friday night.

Here are the comments on the Sixers' loss to the Warriors:

strong early signs on D

D'Anthony Melton started his second straight game and guarded Curry.

The two-time MVP's relentless pace burned Melton twice early as Curry got some easy layups. Every opponent knows that Draymond Green's passing, Curry's movement, and Golden State's division are dangerous, but the Warriors' offense is truly impossible to emulate.

Nevertheless, the Sixers effectively contained Golden State in the first quarter. Embiid was active on the perimeter in pick-and-roll coverage, often coming “up to touch”, and his teammates generally rotated well to limit Green's internal passing options. Green committed three turnovers in the first quarter, which helped the Sixers create some open-floor opportunities. The team's transition defense was also solid.

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Despite a nightmarish shooting start – 0 for his first 8 from three-point range – the Sixers led 27–23 after one quarter.

As long as Embiid is on the floor, they seem capable of playing high-level defense in almost any situation. Harden missed this season with a right hamstring strain during a 14-game stretch. The Sixers had the best defensive rating in the NBA.

Embiid brilliant and indispensable

Embiid's shooting was a little off to start the night. He missed his first three long-range shots and two early throws.

However, there is an undeniable inevitability to Embiid's game. He looked particularly aggressive after the dismissal of Kevon Looney, drawing a lot of fouls and nailing Jonathan Kuminga. nifty spin trick and bucket inside, Looney does an admirable job on Embiid, but the six-time All-Star has plenty of ways to counter whatever the defense throws at him.

Again, he continued to appear quite comfortable as a passer, providing a high-low assist to Tobias Harris and finding the open man on double teams from Kiel and the post. He has made impressive developments in correctly predicting what the correct pass will be, without predetermining (or telegraphing) his decision.

Harris was outstanding in the first half as the Sixers' No. 2 scorer, scoring 15 points on 7-for-9 shooting. He used his size and strength well on several occasions, including a driving and a layup against Thompson, but Harris was also selective and not overly impressed with his own post-up game. He drilled a wing jumper early in the third quarter that moved him past Hersey Hawkins and into fifth place on the Sixers' all-time three-pointers list. After a poor run during which he shot 11 of 37 from the floor (29.7 percent), was an encouraging week for Harris.

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Embiid, Harris and Tyrese Maxi combined to score 44 of the Sixers' 53 first-half points. Maxi hit half of the Sixers' eight threes in the game and reached his career 300 threes (on over 40 percent shooting) in the third quarter.

Unfortunately for the Sixers, Maxi missed his last five field goals and it became clear that if the Sixers won, it would be almost entirely due to Embiid's MVP-level play.

major depth deficit

The Sixers lacked depth on Friday and ultimately lost despite Embiid outscoring the Warriors by 13 points in 38 minutes on the floor.

Only seven of the Sixers played more than six minutes and Furkan Korkmaz got his first rotation action in a long time. Shaq Milton and Georges Niang, the team's two main bench players, each scored five points. After PJ Tucker was scoreless and missed all five of his field-goal attempts, including two corner threes, the Warriors appeared happy to see him take the lead late in the fourth quarter. Rivers replaced Niang with 2:20 left for Tucker. Melton had a blank evening from three-point range (0 for 4) and finished with eight points on 3-for-9 shooting overall.

Meanwhile, Poole was having an outsized impact for Golden State's second unit; He contributed to the Warriors' 13–2 run early in the second quarter and was dominant throughout the fourth quarter. Paul Reid played a little less than two minutes and started the second before Rivers moved to the small ball. Those lineups have usually been stupendous offensively for the Sixers, but most of that success has been generated by Harden.

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Rivers passed back to Reed to open the fourth quarter, and a Milton-to-Reed alley-oop extended the Sixers' lead to 11 points. However, this advantage was short-lived. Poole rattled off a personal 7–0 run capped by a crowd-pleasing dunk shortly after Reid missed two foul shots.

It still seemed that Embiid could single-handedly lead the Sixers to victory. He was formidable as soon as he checked back in, displaying heaps of skill, cleverness, power and fluidity. However, the Sixers struggled to get stops, and Embiid could not convert two late mid-range jumpers that would have tied the game at 112-all. Poole hit a clutch corner three and the Sixers fell to their second road defeat since the All-Star break.