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Warriors hand 76ers another blowout loss

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OAKLAND, Calif. — Coming off a 45-point drubbing at the hands of the Los Angeles Clippers just 24 hours earlier, the last thing the Philadelphia 76ers needed Monday night was a surprise.

Then they ran into the Golden State Warriors’ secret weapon, Marreese Speights, and the rest is unfavorable history.

Getting additional playing time because the Warriors’ first- and second-string centers were injured, Speights exploded for 17 of his career-best 32 points in the second quarter as Golden State built a 33-point halftime lead en route to a 123-80 victory.

The 43-point loss, coupled with Sunday’s 123-78 shellacking in Los Angeles, gave the 76ers the distinction of being just the second team in NBA history to lose consecutive games by 40 or more points. The 1993-94 76ers also suffered the indignity.

The 88-point total margin of the two defeats was the third-largest in NBA history.

“It’s hard for everybody because the reality of it is they have put in so much time, and despite all the turmoil, it’s a group that’s been together, stayed together,” 76ers coach Brett Brown said after his team’s seventh consecutive loss. “At times, you look up and you have to keep going and keep on playing with some level of dignity, and it’s hard doing that.”

In recording their largest margin of the victory since 2002, the Warriors (31-21) outscored the 76ers 37-12 in the second period, with Speights singlehandedly accumulating more points than the visitors.

Philadelphia trailed just 29-21 through one period and was down 33-27 in the third minute of the second quarter before the roof caved in.

Speights, a former 76er who entered the game with a 5.6-point scoring average, poured in 13 in a 14-0 Warriors flurry that produced a 20-point lead.

“I’m happy for him. He deserves this night because he’s put in the time,” Warriors coach Mark Jackson said of Speights, who watched starting center Andrew Bogut and chief backup Jermaine O’Neal more this season than he has played. “I thought he was fabulous. He waited for his opportunity and took full advantage of it.”

The Warriors extended the lead to 66-33 by halftime and 96-48 late in the third quarter before coasting home for their second consecutive home win. They twice led by 49 points early in the fourth quarter.

“I don’t understand what occurred,” 76ers small forward Evan Turner said. “I just think we need to stick together and not turn on the television or read the paper.”

The 76ers complete a four-day, three-game Western swing Wednesday in Utah against the Jazz.

Speights doubled his previous season high of 16 points. He hit 12 of his 15 shots, including his first seven, inspiring the home crowd to chant, “MVP, MVP,” as he approached — and eventually surpassed — a career-high total of which he was well aware.

“I didn’t want to look forward because my career high was 28 and I didn’t want to keep thinking I’ve got to get 28,” the first-year Warrior said. “I just went out there and the ball kept coming to me, so I kept getting opportunities to score.”

Speights also found time for eight rebounds and a season-best three blocked shots.

“I’ve been working hard,” he said. “I knew one of these days it was going to happen.”

Warriors All-Star point guard Stephen Curry sank six 3-pointers to account for a majority of his 23 points. Starting center David Lee (13 points, 13 rebounds) and power forward Draymond Green (11 points, 11 rebounds) added double-doubles.

In all, six Warriors scored in double figures as the team shot 48.9 percent from the field and made 12 of its 29 3-point attempts.

The 76ers, meanwhile, connected on only two of their 17 3-point attempts and shot just 36.7 percent overall. They also were outrebounded 60-38.

Rookie point guard Michael Carter-Williams led the 76ers with 24 points, getting 11 in the fourth quarter. Starting forwards Turner and Thaddeus Young chipped in 12 points apiece.

NOTES: On Wilt Chamberlain Bobblehead Night, the Warriors matched their largest margin of victory ever against the 76ers, a mark initially established when Chamberlain scored 55 points for the Philadelphia Warriors in a 151-108 thumping of the Syracuse Nationals on Nov. 9, 1961. … Before Monday, the Warriors’ largest margin of victory this season was 39 in the first meeting with the 76ers in Philadelphia on Nov. 4. … The Warriors swept the 76ers for the first time since the 2007-08 season. … Philadelphia PG Michael Carter-Williams, already a two-time Rookie of the Month in the Eastern Conference, is attempting to become the first player drafted outside the Top 10 to earn NBA Rookie of the Year honors since Warriors coach Mark Jackson won the award for the New York Knicks as the 18th pick in 1987. Carter-Williams was the No. 11 choice last year. … Warriors SG Klay Thompson played in his 200th consecutive game, just the 10th player in franchise history to reach that mark.

Up to the minute news and reports from the news wire of The Sports Xchange.

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