Basketball / Sports

Golden State Warriors' Stephen Curry follows the flight of his 3-point basket against the Philadelphia 76ers during the second quarter of an NBA game at Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif., on Monday, Feb. 10, 2014. (D. Ross Cameron/Bay Area News Group/MCT)

Warriors crush 76ers

OAKLAND, Calif. -- The Warriors' big man issue took bizarre turns and twists on the night of their 123-80 shellacking of Philadelphia.

Marreese Speights came off the bench to lead all scorers with a career-high 32 points, inducing smiles on the sidelines, standing ovations in the stands, and even MVP chants at Oracle Arena as the 76ers suffered their second embarrassing loss in two nights.

The Warriors led by as many as 49 points even with Andrew Bogut and Jermaine O'Neal sidelined with injuries and an ailing David Lee getting the start at center. Speights, a 6-foot-10 former 76er, stepped forward to make 12 of 15 field goal attempts while adding eight rebounds and three blocks.

Before the game, Bogut was not thrilled as he revealed he had a bone bruise and swelling in his left shoulder while adding that coach Mark Jackson's comment that the injury may have been caused by sleeping was "absolutely ridiculous."

Bogut said he hurt the shoulder while playing Jan. 31 in a win at Utah, began getting soreness the day afterward and played through the discomfort in Tuesday's loss to Charlotte. He said he woke up in pain the following day and thought, "It's really killing me." An MRI exam later revealed a bone bruise and swelling, Bogut said.

"It's gotten worse and worse, so I just wanted to address it," said Bogut, who because of the shoulder has missed three games after being sidelined 50 games last season because of various injuries. "The sleeping comment is absolutely ridiculous. I don't know where it came from.

"It's definitely not the case I just woke up, slept on my shoulder wrong and have a bone bruise and swelling in my shoulder from sleeping, very highly unlikely I believe."

Jackson said before the game he did not know how Bogut got hurt before offering these comments:

"As far as I know, it was not on the court," Jackson said. "It wasn't in practice. It wasn't in a game. I'm not really sure. It may have been sleeping, and I say that in all seriousness, but it's important for us to make sure we continue to treat him, it's legitimate, and then let's be smart with it. We're looking ahead at a whole week of rest and recovery, and we need him."

The apparent miscommunication came as O'Neal missed the game because of right wrist inflammation, leaving a banged-up Lee to return to the lineup at center and come through with 13 points and 13 rebounds.

"With a couple other guys down right now, I think it's important to finish off strong, so whatever I can give, I'll try to give," said Lee, who has been battling a shoulder sprain and hip strain.

Speights gave the Warriors a performance to remember after going into the game averaging 5.6 points and seeing his minutes dwindle despite injuries to the frontcourt.

The eruption from Speights, who made his first seven field goal attempts and had a season-high 22 points by halftime, served as a kick in the stomach to the 76ers a night after the Los Angeles Clippers handed them a 45-point loss. Philadelphia became the first team to lose by at least 40 points on consecutive days since the 76ers did so in 1994.

Stephen Curry added 23 points and eight assists, getting a late-game rest as the Warriors emptied their bench.

Lee missed the team's previous two games, but played knowing the shoulder and hip continue to be "nagging" him. Forward Draymond Green made his third consecutive start and added 11 points and 11 rebounds.

Curry received the January Kia Community Assist Award at halftime, earning recognition for his charitable efforts.

"When you're blessed with certain things, it's good to give back, to use the resources you have to impact a lot of people," Curry said. "That's what it's all about."

The NBA and Kia donated $10,000 on Curry's behalf to Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area.

(c)2014 The Oakland Tribune (Oakland, Calif.)

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Distributed by MCT Information Services



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