You couldn’t have chosen a better game to attend as the Warriors and Magic set the NBA record for the most combined 3s made in a game at 36. The previous record was held by Phoenix and Seattle at a paltry 32. The atmosphere inside Oracle was absolutely electric — still not playoff caliber — as the Warriors came back from a 21-point deficit to absolutely shock the visiting Magic in OT, 123-120.
Looking back over the last 24 years through basketball-reference.com there has been only 3 other teams to shoot 60%+ from 3PT while making at least 20. Dorell Wright(8-11) and
Stephen Curry Monta Ellis(7-9) were responsible for this mayhem, nailing 15 combined from long range.
With two possessions to close out the game in regulation the Warriors didn’t even get a shot off. Even if they managed to take care of the ball for the full shot clock would’ve been good enough, but alas it’s the Warriors. It took every bit of their offensive talents and a crazy, but correct, charging call in OT to barely edge out the Magic. Consider this a gift.
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1st Star: Monta Ellis
39 points, 11 assists, and 4 steals for Monta who did most of his damage from outside. 14-24 shooting and two big FTs in the final minute of overtime rounded out his ridiculous 53-minute performance. You could argue he took too many 3s, but with the way everyone was hitting tonight, who could blame him?
2nd Star: Dorell Wright
Tying his season-high with 32 points, Dorell showed why he was selected to compete in the 3-point contest. When the Warriors were down, he brought them back. When the Magic were trying to keep up, he kept them at a distance. When I thought he was taking too many 3s, he proved me wrong. Big game from D. Wright who has been hibernating since the break.
3rd Star: Stephen Curry
It was tough not putting Lee here because both had their faults despite being playing crucial roles in the win. I actually switched the name a few times, but ultimately went with Steph because he hit some big shots down the stretch and 2 FTs to force Orlando to squeeze out another 3. 22 points, 11 assists, and 3 steals for the kid who’s still figuring out his position.
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Defending Dwight: Never an easy task defending this guy, but after having his way in the 1st half. The Warriors focused their efforts on denying, double teaming, and generally giving him a hard time. After scoring 10 in the first half, he only managed 3 for the final 29 minutes. While Dwight worked hard to add some moves to his post game, he still relies heavily on his size and strength to back down his opponents. While I applaud the Warriors’ bigs for matching his intensity, it wouldn’t hurt to try drawing a charge or two.
3PT fouls: A combination of the Warriors aggressive defense and Orlando’s superb spacing resulted in the 3 3PT fouls, but there’s simply no excuse for bailing out a shooter like that. If Golden State wants to compete in the future they’ll need to eliminate, or at least limit, silly mistakes like these.
Complete game: Monta had his fifth complete game this season, playing all 53 minutes. Even after tweaking his ankle in the 2nd half, he still finished the game strong. While it’s certainly a spectacle to watch, the less we need to use Ellis like this, the better.
Sweet-shooting big men: On a night like this I won’t fault Lee for not asserting himself more on the offensive end, especially with the way he was passing. However, I would’ve liked to see the Warriors roll out Rad Vlad and Lee in the frontcourt to force Dwight out of his natural habitat. By lifting the “No Trespassing” policy, there should’ve been easier looks, and rebounds, inside.
Hedo Turkoglu: Matchup nightmare. A 6-10 forward who can shoot and pass? The way his shot was falling, I wanted to nickname him Turk Nowitzki. Luckily, I don’t have the final say on these things…
J-Rich: I miss having him on our side. Open corner 3? Cash. Contested shot on the wing? Money. 30-footer off the dribble? Cash money. Just a baby step behind Dorell with 30 points on 7-11 behind the arc.
Crib Midget: Nelson looked unstoppable in the last 10 minutes of the game. Fortunately, Ellis channeled his inner Manu and pulled out a game-winning charge against Nelson.
Hibachi: The guy next to me kept saying Gilbert had a gun in his back pocket. I don’t think they even have pockets on their shorts. But if they did, he most certainly would. Can’t say I miss the guy.
Dance Cam: Most of you may already know it, but the Dance Cam just shows fans dancing on the big screen. Forget the scheduled performances during breaks, the dance cam needs to be on every second the clock isn’t running. Pure comedy.
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The T’wolves are in town Sunday and hopefully the Warriors can stop Love from dropping another 30-20 on them. Needless to say, he’ll be the focal point of the Warriors defense/rebounding because if they can limit his production, the rest of the night should go a lot smoother. I’ll say, 110-102 Dubs.