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Joel Embiid not enough, short-handed Sixers fall to Warriors

The Philadelphia 76ers entered the night short-handed in the Bay Area as they prepared to take on the defending champion Golden State Warriors. The Sixers, who entered the night with the top road record in the NBA at 23-12, were missing James Harden and two key bench pieces which made their task tougher than usual.

However, whenever Joel Embiid is out there and healthy, the Sixers will always have a chance. The big fella finished with 46 points, nine rebounds, and eight assists to keep Philadelphia in the game against a good Warriors team, but it wasn’t enough. Golden State walked away with a 120-112 win led by Jordan Poole who had 33 points for the defending champions while Steph Curry added 29.

Tobias Harris added 23 points on 10-for-12 shooting and six rebounds for the Sixers, Tyrese Maxey had 21 points and five assists, and De’Anthony Melton had eight points, six rebounds, and three steals.

Here are the player grades following the tough loss on the road:

Tyrese Maxey: B+

The start for Maxey wasn’t anything to scream about as he had to focus more on his work on the defensive end, but he also didn’t need to do much on offense considering what Embiid and Harris were able to do on the offensive end . Overall, there were some issues on defense, but he had an efficient night on offense. He also made some important triples when he was able to free himself up for some open looks.

De’Anthony Melton: B

When one is assigned to Curry, one has to be absolutely disciplined in their defensive techniques. For the most part, Melton was able to bother him into some really tough looks, but Curry is Curry. He’s going to make some really tough shots and you just have to live with it. Overall, Melton played very good team defense getting into the passing lanes and coming up with steals for Philadelphia. He also played well on offense on his few opportunities.

Tobias Harris: A+

Continuing his recent trend, Harris was aggressive early. There was one sequence when he grabbed the rebound, went the other way, and attacked Klay Thompson for an easy bucket as part of a nice start for him. When Harris is able to provide a lift on the offensive end, it opens up so many opportunities for Philadelphia on that end of the floor. Thompson got his points for the Warriors, but Harris attacked him with aggression on the other end of the floor and he had a lot of offensive success. The Warriors then switched Draymond Green onto Harris due to his success and he struggled to defend him as well.

PJ Tucker: D

The beginning of this game was another example of what Tucker brings to the table. He forced a turnover when Curry drove into the lane and he was also in position to grab big rebounds. However, he wasn’t able to knock down his open looks from deep in key points of the game late, though, and he did get into foul trouble. The Warriors didn’t pay any attention to him in the fourth quarter and that hurt the Sixers on offense.

Joel Embiid: A+

With Harden out, Embiid took on some more point guard duties. The big fella was bringing the ball up and running offense and he was making the right decisions with his passes. Then, of course, he was wreaking havoc on Golden State’s big men. Embiid was attacking Kevon Looney and JaMychal Green as he made their lives miserable. Again, he was scoring in the post, he was knocking down 3-pointers, he was able to score in the mid-range, and Golden State didn’t have an answer. When Embiid was off the floor, that’s when the Sixers had their issues. Just another night at the office for the MVP candidate.

Georges Niang: C

With the Sixers needing a spark on offense, Niang hopped off the bench and drilled their first 3-pointer midway through the second quarter. He also provided some energy on the defensive end by moving his feet and playing with urgency, but alas, the Warriors are the Warriors so they still had success shooting the ball when he was on the floor.

Shake Milton: C+

Milton continues to show off his passing as of late. He struggled a bit with his shot off the bench, but he continued to make some really good plays with his playmaking and his ability to set up his teammates. He has looked like a point guard as of late. He committed a silly foul on Poole while making a triple, but he was able to respond with a 3 of his own. He was helpful in this one.

Paul Reed: D+

The Reed minutes were tough in this one. He wasn’t able to convert on a layup off a roll and the Warriors didn’t care that he was at the rim. They put him in some pick-and-pops and their big men were able to convert on some open looks. He did have a nice finish on a lob in the fourth quarter to show off his athleticism.

Furkan Korkmaz: C

With the Sixers missing Jalen McDaniels and Danuel House Jr., the Sixers turned to Korkmaz for some early minutes. It was brief as he had his issues on the defensive end against this Warriors team. He got another opportunity in the third quarter and he got a bucket while cutting to the basket when Golden State didn’t pay attention to him.

Story originally appeared on Sixers Wire