With rookie Michael Carter-Williams leading the way, the
unbeaten Philadelphia 76ers have been the biggest surprise in the
NBA in the early going.
They’ll face yet another tough test with Stephen Curry and Klay
Thompson coming to town.
On the verge of their best start in 13 seasons, the 76ers go for
a sixth consecutive home victory over the Golden State Warriors on
While many believed the 76ers (3-0) were going to be in good
position to take advantage of next year’s highly touted draft, they
have instead gotten off to a stunning start.
After beating two-time defending champion Miami on Wednesday and
Washington two nights later, Philadelphia pulled out a thrilling
107-104 victory over Chicago on Saturday. Carter-Williams had 26
points and 10 assists and Evan Turner scored 20 as the 76ers erased
a 20-point deficit.
“We understand what everybody has said and written about us,”
first-year coach Brett Brown said. “Our guys have put in the
day-to-day stuff, which has always been our message. I’m lucky I’ve
found a group that enjoys each other’s company and they enjoy
The 76ers have shot 51.2 percent while averaging 110.0 points, a
huge increase from last season’s mark of 93.2.
“I’m surprised we’ve been able to score at the rate that we’ve
able to score,” Brown said. “I didn’t know they had it in
Carter-Williams, selected 11th overall in June, has played a big
part in the team’s success. He is averaging 20.7 points, 9.0
assists and 4.3 steals while going 8 of 17 from 3-point range.
“Coach gives me a lot of confidence out there,” he said. “I’m
able to play freely and I just try to make things happen within the
team. I try to do my job out there and get all my teammates
involved. They did a great job. And when they do a great job, it
makes me look good.”
Philadelphia hasn’t won its first four games since opening a
franchise-best 10-0 in 2000-01. The 76ers have taken five straight
home games against the Warriors (2-1), the most recent a 104-97
victory March 2.
Turner had 22 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists in that
contest for Philadelphia, which overcame a combined 59 points from
Curry and Thompson.
Golden State’s dynamic backcourt duo scored 49 while going 8 for
16 from beyond the arc in a 98-87 win over Sacramento on Saturday.
Curry added 12 assists while Thompson pulled down seven
“They are two great shooters,” coach Mark Jackson said. “These
guys put a lot of time into it, they have an incredible gift and
it’s a beautiful thing. Very fortunate to have a front row seat
watching those two guys shoot the basketball.”
The Warriors have gone 38 of 75 from 3-point range as they head
into a four-game trip.
“You want to feel good before getting on the plane (Sunday) and
traveling, but we know going into Philly they’re a hot team right
now,” said Curry, who has 18 turnovers in the last two games.
“They’ve got some players playing at a high level, so we’ve got to
come out ready to go start the road trip off on a good foot.”
The 76ers are also getting strong production from big man
Spencer Hawes, who’s averaging 19.3 points, 11.3 rebounds and 64.9
percent shooting – all career highs.
Golden State’s Andre Iguodala, who spent the first eight years
of his career with Philadelphia, totaled 24 points and eight
turnovers in two games against the 76ers last season while with