PORTLAND, Ore. -- The Sixers are facing two of the NBA’s highest scorers, including the league’s top offensive threat, in back-to-back games. After taking on Damian Lillard and the Trail Blazers on Saturday, they're up against Stephen Curry and the Warriors on Sunday.
Curry ranks first in the NBA with 30.2 points per game. Lillard is fifth overall with 25.5 points. The Sixers mapped out a similar game plan for both point guards.
“Our pickup points have to be high,” head coach Brett Brown said Saturday. “We have to identify those two early. And anything that has a tiny window of separation, you’re rolling the dice because they don’t need much to get their shots off.”
On Saturday, the Sixers held Lillard below his season average to 16 points in the Trail Blazers' 105-102 victory that came down to the wire. Instead of Lillard pulling off late-game heroics, it was his backcourt partner C.J. McCollum who made the game-winning play. McCollum led all players with 25 points.
Defending Curry will be daunting enough for the shorthanded Sixers. Even if they limit him as they did in their first meeting this season — Curry scored 23 points — they still have to worry about shooting guard Klay Thompson. He scored a game-high 32 points in the Warriors’ last-second win in January.
“It’s a track meet, it’s lots of threes, it’s pace, it’s spread,” Brown said. “We have our defensive work cut out for us on both nights.”