Reactions: Magic 102, Warriors 94
|David Lee, PF 39 MIN | 9-16 FG | 4-6 FT | 9 REB | 2 AST | 22 PTS | +1
Lee had 14 points in the first half, scoring on an array of flips and scoops in the paint off the dribble. He set the tone for the Warriors early, and it looked like he’d be the driving force behind a high-scoring affair. It wasn’t to be, though, as his play tailed off in the second half along with that of his teammates. Defending Glen Davis is always a tough task and Lee was hardly up to it, but that speaks more about Golden State’s decision to play him one-on-one than anything else.
|Harrison Barnes, SF 35 MIN | 4-8 FG | 0-2 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 9 PTS | 0
Like Lee, Barnes got off to a very good start in this one. He caught his defender napping for backdoor lob, hit a three-pointer, and showed great patience in the post on an up-and-under score. He even found Festus Ezeli with a quick chest pass through the teeth of the defense off the pick and roll for an easy dunk. But all that production came early for Barnes, as he failed to score in the second half or make a mark on the defensive end.
|Festus Ezeli, C 16 MIN | 2-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 4 PTS | +6
This was a microcosm of Ezeli’s season, the big man producing when he was in the game but not offering enough offensively to keep him off the bench. Golden State potentially could have used him to guard Davis, but Mark Jackson went another direction. Why? Look no farther than the first quarter play in which his stone hands prevented an easy catch and finish.
|Stephen Curry, PG 44 MIN | 9-21 FG | 4-5 FT | 5 REB | 11 AST | 25 PTS | -3
The numbers look great again for Curry, his third straight 20-point and 10-assist outing. And if not for those prodigious stats this game could have got out of hand quickly for the Warriors. Curry kept his team in it in the fourth quarter by staying ultra-aggressive, but his communication on defense in the second half left a lot to be desired. He and the rest of the guards let the Magic get hot in the second half, a cardinal sin against Orlando. Curry doesn’t deserve all the blame, obviously, but given Mark Jackson’s recent praise one expects more out of him.
|Klay Thompson, SG 30 MIN | 3-12 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 4 AST | 8 PTS | +7
Thompson’s had a knack for picking up cheap early fouls this season, and it came back to haunt him tonight. He was limited in the first half due to foul trouble and never found a rhythm because of it. He’s too important to Golden State offensively to take himself out of the game, something he’ll hopefully realize as the season goes on.
|Carl Landry, PF 26 MIN | 4-8 FG | 1-1 FT | 10 REB | 0 AST | 9 PTS | -14
Landry was his usually productive self, almost registering a double-double off the bench. That spark he normally gives the Warriors was missing tonight, though, and the typical toughness he offers in the paint was missing, too. Landry certainly wasn’t the crux of Golden State’s problems, but he definitely didn’t fix them either.
|Jarrett Jack, PG 29 MIN | 6-10 FG | 4-4 FT | 4 REB | 4 AST | 17 PTS | -11
Along with Curry, Jack kept the Dubs in the game as it almost got out of hand. He scored easily for the third straight game and filled the stat sheet in other areas, too. But he was a culprit of the Warriors’ second-half defensive breakdowns, several times getting lost in pin-downs and pick-and-rolls.
Three Things We Saw
- This probably isn’t the way Golden State wanted to kick off their seven-game road trip. The Magic are an obviously beatable team and didn’t even shoot the lights out tonight, but consistent defensive lapses and poor second-half execution overall doomed the Warriors. It got so bad that Mark Jackson utilized a 3-2 zone at several points, looking for anything to quell Orlando’s momentum. Considering the tangible improvement GS has made defensively this season, this game looked like one played in 2010.
- Golden State assisted on all 10 of their first quarter field goals, but had just 13 more the rest of the game.
- Here’s hoping first-year Orlando head coach Jacque Vaughn gets time to grow with the Magic in the post-Dwight era. His team plays hard, shares the ball, and executes to perfection on both ends of the floor.