Rapid Reactions: Magic 117, Warriors 109
|David Lee, PF 42 MIN | 11-17 FG | 4-6 FT | 12 REB | 4 AST | 26 PTS | -9
A big night was expected from Lee and he obliged. He scored on the block with either his ride or left hand, finished at the rim and even made a few midrange shots. The Florida product also was a presence on the boards and even defended Howard on a few possessions.
|Brandon Rush, SG 40 MIN | 4-8 FG | 1-2 FT | 4 REB | 3 AST | 12 PTS | +4
Starting in the absence of Dorell Wright, Rush played good defense, made the extra pass and hit open shots to keep the Magic’s defense honest.
|Andris Biedrins, C 21 MIN | 1-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 8 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | +4
Andris Biedrins committed a lot of fouls and thus only played 21 minutes; but he put a body on Howard and even forced a few misses from the Magic’s starting center and helped out by on defense by grabbing a few rebounds.
|Monta Ellis, SG 43 MIN | 12-23 FG | 3-4 FT | 2 REB | 11 AST | 30 PTS | -2
Monta was terrific overall, scoring in multiple ways (lay ups, 3-pointers, midrange shots, etc..) and also sharing the ball and making his teammates better. Ellis did settle for a few jumpers, but overall was aggressive and kept the defense off balance.
|Charles Jenkins, G 13 MIN | 4-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 3 AST | 8 PTS | 0
Charles Jenkins played within his skill set and made a few shots to help the Warriors maintain their momentum in the third quarter.
Three Things We Saw
- The absence of Kwame Brown was a huge blow to the Warriors’ defense. He is quite possibly one of the few players in the league strong enough to play Dwight without the help of his teammates and consequently the Dubs had to rotate multiple big people to defend him. Mind you, they were all unsuccessful.
- Mark Jackson has not been afraid to think outside the box so far this season and the hack-a-Howard strategy in this game was a prime example. The Dubs turned to the strategy and forced D12 to attempt an astounding 39 free throws. A lot of them came while the Warriors were protecting a lead but they also turned to the strategy while trailing during the game. Hack-a-Howard had some mixed results but credit Dwight for getting 45 points and 23 rebounds.
- Klay Thompson continues to impress as he slowly but surely gets acclimated to life in the NBA. The Dubs ran some plays for him and he rewarded them with 14 points and connected on 4-of-5 shots from 3-point range.