OAKLAND, California (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 on 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 three-pointers to go with six assists, and Cousins contributed seven points, six rebounds and six assists.
Kevin Durant hit a three-pointer with 4:52 remaining to trim the deficit to 102-96, but Draymond Green fouled moments later and received a technical for arguing.
Durant finished with 25 points on 11-for-24 shooting but missed seven of his eight three-point tries.
Curry’s baseline three 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 three 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.”
Golden State’s Alfonzo McKinnie hit all five of his shots for 11 points making his first career start in his 56th game after Klay Thompson was a late scratch because of an illness.
The Warriors will try to get back on track at home tonight 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 on Thursday night against the Clippers for his first game since the injury.
Cousins went three 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.