PHILADELPHIA (AP) Steve Kerr sounded like a wide-eyed optimist in his state-of-the-Warriors breakdown, less than 24 hours ahead of the NBA trade deadline.

His assessment: Golden State - a team still not yet in the playoff standings - is still poised for big things this season.

Klay Thompson surveyed the locker room - one that still included his fellow NBA champion teammates Stephen Curry and Draymond Green - and agreed his coach was right on target.

“If you go home and you check the playoff record, the trio, and you add what you have,” Thompson said, “I believe it. I will always believe. It's a long season. I will always believe we can always make a run, especially when we're all suited up.”

Andrew Wiggins had 21 points and 10 rebounds and Jonathan Kuminga scored 18 points to lead the Warriors past a Philadelphia 76ers team sagging without Joel Embiid, 127-104 on Wednesday night.

“Without Wigs, we don't win another championship in 2022,” Thompson said. “If we want to go where we want to go, he's going to have to be that same Wigs that got us there a couple of years ago.”

Curry scored two points in the first half and finished with nine, just two games after he dropped 60 points on Atlanta. Thompson - a potential free agent, who said his preference was to remain with the Warriors this season and beyond - scored 18 points in 28 minutes after he was benched the final seven minutes in Monday’s win against Brooklyn.

With the NBA trade deadline set for Thursday, Kerr said he didn’t expect the Warriors to make a major move. The Warriors moved to 23-25 and are still stuck in 11th in the Western Conference -- just outside a spot for the Western Conference play-in tournament.

“I’m just really enjoying coaching this team,” Kerr said. “It’s a long haul. I feel like this group can do something special, I really do. If we don’t do anything tomorrow, we feel like we’ve got a good group and can push through.”

The 76ers may slog through the rest of the season with Embiid out significant time following knee surgery. Without Embiid, the 76ers are an ugly 4-12, and a team just two weeks ago that played like an East contender, now faces a play-in possibility.

Team president Daryl Morey is traditionally active on deadline day. The 76ers are clearly on the market for a big man or any kind of depth help to stop the losing. The Sixers have lost seven of eight games.

Ricky Council IV led the 76ers with 17 points. The 76ers missed 24 of 32 3-pointers.

Kerr has his “fingers” crossed Embiid can return to play for him this summer on the U.S. Olympic team. Kerr understands as well as any coach the perils of trying to survive a season without MVPs and All-Stars. Curry was limited to five games because of a broken left hand during the shortened 2019-20 season and the Warriors finished an NBA-worst 15-50. Thompson didn’t play during the coronavirus-shortened season as he worked back from surgery for a torn ACL in his left knee.

“The first step is getting everybody to recognize you’ve got to fight your way out,” Kerr said. “When you’re in a rut, when you’re missing guys, schemes, lineups don’t matter as much as competitiveness and fight.”

The 76ers did show some fight, for a half at least. They only trailed by three at the break but the Warriors simply blew them out in the second half. Green and Thompson buried consecutive 3s as part of a 27-9 run that stretched the lead to 25 points. Curry hit a step-back 3 that helped power the Warriors past the Sixers 43-23 in the quarter.

The Sixers have been hit hard by illness and other injuries to key players. But All-Star guard Tyrese Maxey scored just 12 points and has a combined 50 in the three games since he scored a career-best 51 last week against the Utah Jazz.

“We need to get a little bit more of the firepower back,” coach Nick Nurse said. “Then the guys that are there need to be feeling a little more closer to 100%, too. Again, I've got to say, we've got some guys going out there and they're semi-sick and pretty sick and they're not 100%. They're trying.”


Warriors play Thursday at Indiana.

76ers host Atlanta on Friday.



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