Embiid, 76ers spoil DeMarcus Cousins’ home Warriors debut
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Warriors coach Steve Kerr figured it would be a tough challenge for DeMarcus Cousins to keep up with Joel Embiid at this stage, given Cousins has just returned from almost a yearlong absence recovering from a serious Achilles tendon injury.
Embiid had 26 points and 20 rebounds to spoil Cousins’ home debut with the Warriors, and the Philadelphia 76ers snapped Golden State’s NBA-best 11-game winning streak with a 113-104 victory Thursday night.
Philadelphia hadn’t won a game in the series in nearly six years. Ben Simmons also scored 26 points and JJ Redick added 15 points for the Sixers, who grabbed 16 offensive rebounds to give them 10 or more in five straight games and 11 of 15.
“It’s a fantastic win. This group — myself included — we have not beaten Golden State,” 76ers coach Brett Brown said. “To do it on the road, to do it in front of their fans against a team that is this good and had won that many in a row, it is a good night.”
Embiid missed all five of his 3s and committed eight turnovers but also had five assists and two steals.
“I wanted that matchup,” Cousins said.
Stephen Curry scored 41 points with 10 3-pointers to go with six assists, and Cousins contributed seven points, six rebounds and six assists.
Durant finished with 25 points on 11-for-24 shooting but missed seven of his eight 3-point tries.
Curry’s baseline 3 with 2:46 remaining cut Philadelphia’s lead to 106-101, and he hit another with just more than a minute left to make it a six-point game.
Curry shot 14 for 27, 10 of 18 on 3s, and knocked down a long 3 midway through the first while doing a scissor-kick in the air before throwing his arm up to celebrate moments later.
“Shots didn’t fall in the second half,” Curry said. “They didn’t get frazzled by any of our runs.”
The Warriors will try to get back on track at home Saturday against the Lakers, who left Oracle Arena on Christmas night with a 127-101 win despite losing LeBron James in the third quarter to a left groin strain. James returned from a 17-game absence Thursday night against the Clippers for his first game since the injury.
Cousins went 3 for 10 and played 25 minutes in his sixth game overall since coming back from surgery to repair a ruptured left Achilles tendon he hurt last January with New Orleans.
“Obviously I’m still not where I want to be,” Cousins said. “… I’m working my tail off. Just be patient.”
The Sixers went ahead 95-84 late in the third on Embiid’s basket, outscoring Golden State 42-26 in the quarter.
Golden State, which has a double-digit winning streak for the sixth consecutive season and is coming off a 5-0 road trip, shot 46.6 percent and was 11 of 38 from deep.
The Warriors had their 10-game winning streak against the Sixers snapped, along with a six-game unbeaten run in the series at Oracle.
Kerr wore a Jackie Robinson T-shirt before the game on what would have been the Hall of Famer’s 100th birthday and ahead of Black History Month.
“For those of us in the sports world Jackie Robinson probably represents Black History Month as well as any person that possibly could, the impact he made and the adversity he faced and the success he had and the roads he paved for so many people in this country was very inspiring,” Kerr said.
76ers: F Wilson Chandler injured his right quadriceps in the third and didn’t return. … The Sixers are 14-5 against Western Conference opponents, the top mark for any East team facing the other conference. … Redick has scored in double figures in 59 straight games dating to March 26, 2018, vs. Denver. … The 76ers’ previous victory in the series was a 104-97 win on March 2, 2013, at Philly. … Philadelphia made 19 free throws to have its streak of games with 20 or more snapped at 34.
Warriors: Thompson was named an All-Star reserve, his fifth straight selection. The Warriors have at least three All-Stars in four straight seasons for the first time since 1960-63. … Durant has 20 or more points in 37 of the last 39 games. … Green had 10 more assists to give him 92 assists to 16 turnovers in his last 10 games, including 68 assists and 12 turnovers in the past seven. … F Jonas Jerebko shared a photo of new daughter, Celine, born at 7:50 a.m. Wednesday to join big sister, Izabel. He planned to head back to the hospital after the game to see the baby and wife, Johanna.
76ers: At Sacramento on Saturday night.
Warriors: Host the Lakers on Saturday night, when former Golden State center JaVale McGee will receive his championship ring.