OAKLAND, Calif. – The 76ers were focused on improving their perimeter defense.
They also should have concentrated on limiting their turnovers. That - not three-point defense - was their glaring Achillies' heel Tuesday night against the Golden State Warriors.
The Sixers committed 28 giveaways in a 126-86 loss at Oracle Arena. The Warriors (25-5) scored 43 points off the visitors' turnovers. Eleven of the Sixers' turnovers were committed in the first quarter. The Warriors did make 12 of 28 three-pointers and blocked 11 Sixers' shots.
The loss dropped the Sixers to 4-26 and extended their losing streak to three games.
“At the end of the day, when you look at 28 turnovers and 11 blocked shots, that is a big number to not get a shot on,” Sixers coach Brett Brown said. “And we still think we had 86 possessions.”
Golden State has won 10 straight at home, matching its longest home winning streak since a 10-game stretch in 1994. The Warriors also improved to 12-1 at home.
Former Sixer Marreese Speights once again dominated the team that traded him to the Memphis Grizzlies on Jan. 4, 2012, as part of a three-team trade.
The center finished with 23 points on 9-for-13 shooting to go with four rebounds, four assists and four blocks. The 6-foot-10, 255-pounder, who made his third consecutive start, torched the Sixers for a career-high 32 points here last season.
Golden State backcourt mates Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson also had solid games.
Thompson had 14 points, with 11 coming in the first quarter. Curry finished with 13 points and nine assists. He made 3 of 6 three-pointers. The standout guard sat out the fourth quarter.
Reserve guard Leandro Barbosa added 17 points.
Sixers point guard Michael Carter-Williams struggled once again. He had four points on 1-for-7 shooting. Carter-Williams made just 2 of 20 shots Saturday in a loss to the host Utah Jazz.
But the Sixers got solid games from power forward Henry Sims (19 points, seven rebounds), small forward Robert Covington (10 points, nine rebounds) and reserve power forward Malcolm Thomas (10 points, eight rebounds).
For Covington, this was another game that proved that he belongs in the NBA.
The 6-foot-9 swingman took an average of 11.8 points and a three-point percentage of 43.3 into the game. Covington made his ninth straight start. He has been a welcome addition to the starting lineup, averaging 15.4 points and 6.3 rebounds in this previous eight starts.
Not bad for an undrafted player whom the Sixers called up from the Grand Rapids Drive of the NBA Development league on Nov. 13.
Rookie Nerlens Noel (sprained left ankle) had eight points and seven rebounds. The center's status was questionable on Monday. The Sixers were without two starters in shooting guard Hollis Thompson (upper respiratory infection) and Luc Mbah a Moute (left calf strain.)
The team started out well without them, leading, 6-0, after Noel's jump hook with 9 minutes, 56 seconds left in first quarter. But the Warriors responded with an 11-0 run to take a five-point advantage on Thompson's jumper 3:11 later.
Golden State then turned Sixers turnovers into layups, jumpers and three-pointers. The Warriors built a commanding 29-point cushion early in the third quarter. They extended their lead to 47 points in the fourth quarter.
“I don’t want our guys feeling embarrassed,” Brown said. “I don’t want them feeling ashamed. I want them finding a way to take a deep breath and understand this is where the Philadelphia 76ers program is at at the moment. At times, it is painful. But we move on.”