Tonight the Sixers will take on a team in which they have had some recent success. They have won six of their last eight meetings with Golden State, including three straight, while putting up some big numbers. They have topped the 100 point mark in six of their last seven meetings and have topped 110 points in four of those contests. The 76ers are trying to weather the storm as they head towards the New Year. They have won two of their last three games after losing five straight. They are 24-36 in December dating back to December 2008. But January is good for the Sixers as they are 38-23 in January dating to 2009. The Sixers are playing their first game of a back-to-back tonight as they travel to Portland tomorrow.
Who to Watch: Dorell Wright. Wright has been lighting it up for the Sixers of late. He has scored 20+ points in three of the last five games, with a season-high 28 on Wednesday night in Memphis. Over the last five games, Wright is averaging 17.6 points per game and shooting 47.4% despite not scoring 10 or more points in the previous 17 games dating back to early November. He is expected to start which is a good thing as the 76ers are 4-1 when he is in the starting lineup.
The Warriors are looking to rebound against the Sixers after getting handled by them in each of their meetings last year. The Warriors lost by 26 and 22 points, respectively. It will be somewhat of a homecoming for Sixers guard Jason Richardson, who was drafted by the Warrirors and was on the team when they last qualified for the playoffs. The player to watch for the Sixers tonight, Wright, was acquired from the Warriors last July. The Warriors are off to their best start since 1991-92 and have won their first game following Christmas in each of the last seven seasons. After going 7-11 against the Eastern Conference last season, Golden State is 11-2 against the East this year with their only losses coming to the Orlando Magic. They have been hot lately having won nine of their last 12 and 12 of their last 16 games.
Who to Watch: David Lee. Lee is second on the team in scoring averaging 19.9 points and 11.3 rebounds per game. He is fifth in the NBA in rebounding and 10th in scoring. The 6’9” forward started the month of December off right going 12 straight games with 20 or more points and 10 or more rebounds from December 5th – 22nd. He had his streak broken on Wednesday night against the Jazz in which he had 18 points and nine rebounds. Lee gets to the free throw line and is shooting better than 87% from the charity stripe in the month of December and 81.9% overall this year.
Tipoff is slated for 10:30 pm at ORACLE Arena. The game can be seen on Comcast Sportsnet and heard on 97.5 The Fanatic.
Follow Steve on Twitter @SDolan3
Follow Whiz Wit on Twitter @WhizWitSports