GRADES: Philadelphia 76ers 115, Golden State Warriors 104

(Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images) /

An emotional evening at the Wells Fargo Center produced a touching scene and a Philadelphia 76ers win. The hometown of Kobe Bean Bryant did not disappoint.

Sports are important, until they’re not. Lose by five goals, strike out four times, score three touchdowns, or however you perform … the sun will still come up tomorrow. Win, lose, or draw you still have air in your lungs and something to live for. Sports are important, but they’re not everything.

The humanity of sports was tragically brought to light after a helicopter crash took the lives of Kobe Bryant, Gianna Bryant, Ara Zobayan, Christina Mauser, John Altobelli, Keri Altobelli, Alyssa Altobelli, Sarah Chester, and Peyton Chester.

Bryant’s helicopter crashed Sunday morning in Southern California. His evolution into the Black Mamba famously began at Lower Merion High School. The Philadelphia area felt the death of Kobe and GiGi as much as any city besides Los Angeles. Nine lives were lost, families were forever altered, the world lost an icon, and Phildelphia lost a son.

The tributes to Kobe Bryant were ample before and during the game. A maroon and white “33” was near the scoreboard. The moment of silence was 33 seconds long, with nine beams of light shining. After the opening tip, the Sixers took an eight-second backcourt violation and the Warriors let the 24-second shot clock expire.

As for the actual basketball game, the Philadelphia 76ers and the Golden State Warriors played a game that never felt dramatic. The score was close throughout most of the game, but there was a lacking climax and crescendo. Both teams went on runs and the Sixers claimed the victory, but the crowd never sounded full-throated. It was an odd name coupled with two teams playing below their capabilities.

Philadelphia 76ers. JOEL EMBIID. B-. <strong>26 mins | 24 pts | 10 reb | 1 ast | 0 stl | 1 blk | 5 TO | 9-13 FG | 1-3 3PT| 5-8 FT | 2 PF | +10 </strong> <p>As expected, <a rel=. C

RAUL NETO. B+. <strong>21 mins | 19 pts | 2 reb | 2 ast | 1 stl | 0 blk | 0 TO | 7-10 FG | 3-5 3PT| 2-2 FT | 3 PF | +15 </strong> <p><a rel=. PG. Philadelphia 76ers

PG. Philadelphia 76ers. BEN SIMMONS. B. <strong>27 mins | 17 pts | 4 reb | 5 ast | 1 stl | 0 blk | 2 TO | 4-11 FG | 0-0 3PT| 9-10 FT | 2 PF | -4 </strong> <p>On a night where he was hounded by <a rel=

B. <strong>10 mins | 3 pts | 1 reb | 0 ast | 1 stl | 2 blk | 0 TO | 1-5 FG | 0-2 3PT| 1-2 FT | 1 PF | +2 </strong> <p>The sample size was small tonight, but <a rel=. SG. Philadelphia 76ers. ZHAIRE SMITH

C+. <strong>31 mins | 12 pts | 11 reb | 8 ast | 1 stl | 0 blk | 2 TO | 4-11 FG | 2-6 3PT| 2-2 FT |  PF | +7</strong> <p>Without seeing the stat line would you have guessed Horford nearly had a triple-double ? I wouldn’t have. Horford’s passing made up for a blah shooting night. His developing penchant for hitting shots late in games is pleasant to see, but bricking wide open threes early in the clock is frustrating. Defensively is where Horford was at his worst. He was continually attacked in the open floor, exposing his recovery speed. It was a typical average Al outing</p>. PF. Philadelphia 76ers. AL HORFORD

The 10-win Warriors were led by D’Angelo Russell and Draymond Green. D-Lo had 28 points, while Green was his typical pestering self. The former DPOY was just shy of a triple double. Former Process Sixer Glenn Robinson III chipped in 20 points. The Dubs outscored the Sixers in the first and third quarters, but could not take control in the fourth.

The Sixers are facing a tough five-game stretch: @ ATL, @ BOS, @ MIA, @ MIL, vs. MEM. The games against Boston, Miami, and Milwaukee could be crucial as the regular season begins to dwindle. The All-Star break is soon approaching, as is the trade deadline. We are going to find out a lot about the mettle of this team.

(Photo by Ezra Acayan/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ezra Acayan/Getty Images) /

Basketball was secondary tonight. Remembering those who were lost in the horrific accident was the highest priority. The sport has a heavy heart and Kobe’s legacy will live on forever.

Next. Kobe's legacy in the City of Brotherly Love. dark

Sports are important, but they’re not everything. Your friends and family are. Let them know it.