No Curry, same outcome: Warriors make Magic disappear in 3rd quarter
In a collective effort, the Warriors took care of the Orlando Magic in the second half to capture their seventh consecutive victory with a 110-100 decision on Monday night at Oracle Arena.
The Warriors have beaten their opponents by an average of 19.8 points during their winning streak.
“We’re not at our top level, but we’re playing at a really good [level],” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “We can get better, and we know that.”
Kevin Durant led all scorers with 21 points, while securing six boards and distributing a season-high eight assists in 30 minutes.
Curry sat out his first game of the season, due to a right thigh contusion that he sustained Saturday in a home win over the Philadelphia 76ers.
“It’s a lot different [with Curry out],” Draymond Green said. “When Steph is out there, everything is just more free-flowing. It’s just reads, more so than playcalling. Tonight, we called a lot of plays. That’s kind of the chaos he causes when he’s on the floor.”
Shaun Livingston received the start in Curry’s place and produced a season-high 16 points and six assists.
“Shaun is an unbelievable luxury to have,” Kerr said. “This is a guy who was heading for an All-Star career before the devastating injury, and it’s amazing how he’s remade himself since that injury. Since he’s been here, he’s been a big part of our team, on and off the floor.”
Green registered a season-high 20 points, dished out five assists and stole the ball twice. He also was 3-of-5 from downtown. It was Green’s first 20-point game since March 24, 2017, versus the Sacramento Kings.
“It helps us a lot [when Draymond is hitting his 3s], because teams feel like they want to give him that shot,” Durant said. “If they’re going to leave somebody open, they feel like they’re going to leave Draymond open, which is not smart.”
Klay Thompson finished with 15 points.
Once again, the Warriors did their damage in the third quarter. They held a two-point lead a minute into the quarter, and it increased to a 15-point advantage at the midway point. The Magic were outscored 32-19 in the period.
Kerr was asked if he could pinpoint why this team performs so well in the third quarter.
“No. I don’t [know],” he responded. “The only things that I see is we start taking care of the ball. We just seem to be more careful with the ball.”
Prior to the contest, the Warriors were averaging 32.6 points in the third quarter, a league-leading mark.
It was the Warriors’ ninth straight win over the Magic.
“We’re peaking, right? Green said sarcastically. “No, I don’t think we’re at our top level.”
Orlando (8-6) was held to 42 percent from the field and 31 percent from the 3 line. Golden State (11-3) made half of its field goals and was 35 percent from 3. Entering the game, these two teams were No. 1 and No. 2 in 3-point percentage, with the Warriors shooting it at 42 percent and the Magic at 41 percent.
“We made them miss, we made them shoot over the top of us,” Durant said. “We got our hands on basketball with deflections, and that’s just the type of team we are.”
Nikola Vucevic was the high scorer for Orlando, putting in 20 points.
The Warriors now hit the road for a four-game road trip that kicks off against the Eastern Conference-leading Boston Celtics on Thursday.