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Monday, November 29, 2021

Warriors beat in the first half, beat the Sixers with a spark from the bench

SAN FRANCISCO – This Golden State Warriors team can show their depth with their best performance.

After playing in arguably their worst half of basketball this season, the depth helped convert a 19-point first-half loss into a 20-point victory, their ninth-straight double-digit win at home. Philadelphia turned in a 116-96 win over the 76ers on Thanksgiving Eve at the Golden State Chase Center.

According to ESPN stats, the Warriors are an NBA-best 16-2, now at least 10 points behind with two wins of more than 20 points this season. The rest of the NBA combined has three of those victories.

The Sixers were without their two stars in COVID-19 protocol Joel Embiid, and Ben Simmons has been ruled out all season for non-injury reasons. But the game gave the crowd a fraternal matchup with stepbrother Damien Lee as well as Steph Curry against Seth Curry.

The younger Curry, returning from a back stiffness, never outperformed his older brother, but he came close enough to finish the night with 24 points for Steph’s 25. As compelling as it is, the Curry Bhai matchup didn’t affect the game. Here are some takeaways.

Juan Toscano-Anderson “Junkyard Dog”

Toscano-Andersen was the unexpected hero of the night, shocking his listless team with the bark of his “junk dog” in the second half.

Without attempting a shot in the first half, Toscano-Andersen helped divert the energy defensively in his 20 second-half minutes. He reversed six rebounds with six assists and 13 points. Punctuated by a performance at 6-foot-10 center Andre Drummond and a put-back dunk, an Ant Chase center crowd kicked out of their seats.

“As a coach it’s great to know that you can always count on a player like Juan,” said head coach Steve Kerr. “Who can start, he can be your eighth man. He can be your 12th man. But you always know what you’re getting.”

Too cool for a player who was out of rotation just a week ago.

“I’m a grown man,” Toscano-Anderson said. “And things are always going my way or the way I want them to, and life isn’t about how you react to different situations.

“I’m not afraid to do the dirty work, no matter what. I’m going to work hard all the time. I love this game and appreciate the opportunity.

Kerr’s Warriors have seen some historically great regular seasons championed by a deep bench. He’s not shy about going through a ten-man rotation to find the right elixir on the court. In desperate need of some spark at both ends when the attack on the Sixers’ downhill attack seemed overwhelming, Toscano-Andersen stepped up, finishing with an astonishing plus-21 in plus/minus 25 minutes.

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“That was all,” the Warriors continued, Andrew Wiggins. “He gave us a lot of energy. He was all over the floor, assisting, rebounding but the energy was infectious.”

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – NOVEMBER 24: Juan Toscano-Anderson, #95, of the Golden State Warriors celebrates a basket in the fourth quarter of his NBA game against the Philadelphia 76ers at Chase Center on Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2021. (Jane Tyska/Bay Area Newsgroup)

Wiggins keeps his progress

Wiggins has been in tears since the Warriors’ win against Minnesota on Nov. 11, averaging 24 points on 56% shooting in Wednesday’s game. Curry half-jokingly promised to text Wiggins a photo of the turn – a poster dunk from that game on former teammate Carl Anthony Towns – before each game to inspire him.

Curry took that promise a step further.

“I dunk her on me before the game and I scream Kat’s name,” Curry said.

Wiggins, at first, seemed a victim of the damned first half. He missed four free throws to start the game and looked sluggish at either end. With an increase in energy, Wiggins turned on the jets, closed defensively and converted 19 points and six rebounds.

Warriors beat in the first half, beat the Sixers with a spark from the bench
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – NOVEMBER 24: Golden State Warriors’ Andrew Wiggins #22 is fouled by Philadelphia 76ers’ Tyrese Maxi #0 in the first quarter of their NBA game at the Chase Center in San Francisco, Calif., Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2021. (Jane Tyska/Bay Area Newsgroup)

defensive innings

The NBA’s top defense looked porous in the first half against the Sixers, who were attacking with dribbles and committing too many touch fouls. Draymond got into a foul before the green half with four individual fouls.

The turnaround saw the Warriors kick their defense back into gear. Green did not commit another foul for the rest of the game.

“He’s just smart,” Kerr said. “He understands how to avoid fouls, how to play fouls. So we always leave him inside, a lot.”

The Sixers don’t turn the ball around – they had 10 in the first half. But the ball rebounded 18 times in the second half for a total of 38 points assigned to Golden State on turnover.

Warriors beat in the first half, beat the Sixers with a spark from the bench
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – NOVEMBER 24: Draymond Green #23 of the Golden State Warriors is fouled by Georges Niang #20 of the Philadelphia 76ers in the first quarter of his NBA game at Chase Center on Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2021. (Jane Tyska/Bay Area Newsgroup)

Jordan Pool’s buzzer-beater

Early signs of a comeback were visible when Poole hit a buzzer-beater off the half court to end the half and put the Warriors within nine of the Sixers.

The Warriors practiced this shot, Curry said. Poole leads Curry to a one-on-one contest.

Warriors beat in the first half, beat the Sixers with a spark from the bench
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – NOVEMBER 24: Golden State Warriors’ Jordan Pool #3 and Juan Toscano-Anderson #95 celebrate a basket in the fourth quarter of their NBA game against the Philadelphia 76ers at Chase Center in San Francisco, California. Wednesday, November 24, 2021. (Jane Tyska/Bay Area Newsgroup)
Warriors beat in the first half, beat the Sixers with a spark from the bench
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – NOVEMBER 24: Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry #30 shoots Philadelphia 76ers’ Georges Niang #20 and Curry’s brother Seth Curry #31 in the first quarter of their NBA game at Chase Center in San Francisco, Calif. . on Wednesday, November 24, 2021. (Jane Tyska/Bay Area Newsgroup)
Warriors beat in the first half, beat the Sixers with a spark from the bench
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – NOVEMBER 24: Juan Toscano-Anderson, #95 Stephen Curry #30 and Gary Peyton II #0 of the Golden State Warriors celebrate a basket in the fourth quarter of their NBA game against the Philadelphia 76ers at Chase Center in San Francisco. Francisco, California, on Wednesday, November 24, 2021 (Jane Tyska/Bay Area Newsgroup)
Warriors beat in the first half, beat the Sixers with a spark from the bench
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – NOVEMBER 24: Nemanja Bezelica #8 of the Golden State Warriors loses control of the ball as she is protected by Isaiah Joe #7 of the Philadelphia 76ers in the first quarter of their NBA game at Chase Center in San Francisco, Calif. , on Wednesday, November 24, 2021. (Jane Tyska/Bay Area Newsgroup)
Warriors beat in the first half, beat the Sixers with a spark from the bench
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – NOVEMBER 24: Golden State Warriors’ Jordan Poole #3 and Juan Toscano-Anderson #95 celebrate a basket in the fourth quarter of their NBA game against the Philadelphia 76ers at Chase Center in San Francisco, California. Wednesday, November 24, 2021. (Jane Tyska/Bay Area Newsgroup)
Warriors beat in the first half, beat the Sixers with a spark from the bench
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – NOVEMBER 24: Andrew Wiggins #22 of the Golden State Warriors beats Andre Drummond #1 of the Philadelphia 76ers in the second quarter of his NBA game at Chase Center on Wednesday, November 24 in San Francisco, Calif. , 2021. (Jane Tyska/Bay Area Newsgroup)
Warriors beat in the first half, beat the Sixers with a spark from the bench
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – NOVEMBER 24: Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry #30 is protected by Philadelphia 76ers’ Danny Green #14 in the first quarter of their NBA game Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2021. (Jane Tyska/Bay Area Newsgroup)
Warriors beat in the first half, beat the Sixers with a spark from the bench
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – NOVEMBER 24: Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors is seen on the bench in the fourth quarter of their NBA game against the Philadelphia 76ers at Chase Center on Wednesday, November 24 in San Francisco, California. 2021. (Jane Tyska/Bay Area Newsgroup)
Warriors beat in the first half, beat the Sixers with a spark from the bench
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – NOVEMBER 24: Juan Toscano-Anderson #95 of the Golden State Warriors dunks Andre Drummond #1 of the Philadelphia 76ers in the fourth quarter of his NBA game at the Chase Center in San Francisco, Calif., Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2021. (Jane Tyska/Bay Area Newsgroup)
Warriors beat in the first half, beat the Sixers with a spark from the bench
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – NOVEMBER 24: Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry #30 celebrates a basket in the fourth quarter of his NBA game against the Philadelphia 76ers at Chase Center on Wednesday, November 24 in San Francisco, California. 2021. At left is his brother, Philadelphia 76ers’ Seth Curry #31. (Jane Tyska/Bay Area Newsgroup)
Warriors beat in the first half, beat the Sixers with a spark from the bench
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – NOVEMBER 24: Andrew Wiggins #22 of the Golden State Warriors makes a layoff in the second quarter of his NBA game against the Philadelphia 76ers at Chase Center on Wednesday, November 24, 2021 in San Francisco, California. (Jane Tyska/Bay Area Newsgroup)
Warriors beat in the first half, beat the Sixers with a spark from the bench
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – NOVEMBER 24: Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry, #30 Juan Toscano-Anderson, #95 and Otto Porter Jr. #32 celebrate a basket in the fourth quarter of their NBA game against the Philadelphia 76ers at Chase Center. in San Francisco, California, on Wednesday, November 24, 2021 (Jane Tyska/Bay Area Newsgroup)
Warriors beat in the first half, beat the Sixers with a spark from the bench
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – NOVEMBER 24: Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry #30 and Jordan Poole #3 guard Philadelphia 76ers’ Shaq Milton #18 in the second quarter of their NBA game at Chase Center on Wednesday in San Francisco, Calif. , November 24, 2021. (Jane Tyska/Bay Area Newsgroup)
Warriors beat in the first half, beat the Sixers with a spark from the bench
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – NOVEMBER 24: Stephen Curry, #30 of the Golden State Warriors is congratulated by his brother Philadelphia 76ers’ Seth Curry #31 after the Warriors’ 116-96 NBA victory at the Chase Center on Wednesday in San Francisco, Calif. , November 24, 2021. (Jane Tyska/Bay Area Newsgroup)

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