OAKLAND (AP) — David Lee had 25 points and 12 rebounds and the Golden State Warriors held off a late charge in the fourth quarter to beat the Philadelphia 76ers 96-89 on Friday night.
Jarrett Jack added 16 points off the bench while Carl Landry had 15 points and 11 rebounds for the Warriors, who nearly blew a 20-point lead in the second half before securing its first win over the Sixers in more than two years.
Philadelphia pulled to 84-80 on Royal Ivey’s 3-pointer with 6:23 left to play before Lee scored six straight as part of his 19th double-double this season to help Golden State pull away.
Jrue Holiday had 21 points and 10 assists for Philadelphia. The Sixers have lost eight of 10 on the road.
Golden State (20-10) kept its best start in more than two decades going by getting balanced scoring and outhustling a pesky Philadelphia team playing its second straight game without Jason Richardson.
It wasn’t always pretty.
The Warriors committed 18 turnovers — six in the first quarter — then needed a strong fourth quarter from Lee to hold off the Sixers. Golden State had dropped its previous three against Philadelphia, including a pair of blowout losses in 2011.
Then again, Warriors coach Mark Jackson’s team has been defying expectations much of the season.
This is just the ninth time since the franchise relocated to the West Coast that the Warriors have won 20 games before New Year’s Day and only the third since 1975-76.
Philadelphia (14-16), making its third stop on an eight-game road trip, made it difficult but came up short two days after beating Memphis 99-89.
Thaddeus Young had 19 points and 10 assists for the Sixers while reserve Nick Young had 13.
The Warriors committed six turnovers but led after one following Jack’s off-balance 12-footer off the glass with 2.6 seconds left.
Jack later had some fun after Philadelphia’s Dorrell Wright lost his left shoe in the second quarter. Jack picked up the shoe and tossed it into the crowd behind the backboard, then raced down the court and made a 3-pointer to give the Warriors a 41-34 lead. Sixers coach Doug Collins had to call timeout to allow Wright to retrieve his shoe.
Jack and Landry, who have provided a boost off the bench for Golden State, combined for 25 points in the first half and the Warriors closed on a 16-4 run to lead 57-42.
Philadelphia pulled to 59-47 early in the third but Lee scored four straight then fed Harrison Barnes with a no-look pass from atop the key for an easy layup to put Golden State up by 18.
Young provided one of the few highlights for the Sixers when he jumped from just inside the free throw line and made a soaring one-handed dunk.
Klay Thompson scored 14 points for the Warriors while Stephen Curry had 11 points, six assists and five rebounds.
NOTES: Golden State improved to 12-2 against the Eastern Conference. ... Richardson was sidelined because of a sore back. ... Philadelphia’s Spencer Hawes, coming off a season-high 20 points in the win over Memphis, had two points and was charged with a technical foul early in the second quarter. ... Oakland Raiders wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey was among those in attendance.