Culture of Hoops

Golden State Warriors dominate Orlando Magic

Image courtesy of Keith Allison/Flickr.

Image courtesy of Keith Allison/Flickr.

After two of their better performances of the season, the Orlando Magic welcomed the Golden State Warriors to town to cap off a six-game home stand. The result was not what the Magic were hoping for, as Golden State took care of business from the start, winning 94-81 on Tuesday. Orlando was flat and never seemed to get a real rhythm going, allowing the Warriors to seemingly control the game.

Golden State started quick and seemingly never let off the gas peddle. They grew their lead to as many as 24 in the first half, and a game-high 25 in the third quarter. The Warriors stifled the Magic defensively, and were nearly unstoppable much of the night offensively as well.

Golden State only finished with four people in double figures, but had seven players score eight or more points on the night. David Lee led the charge with a game-high 22 points and nine rebounds. Sharpshooter Klay Thompson knocked down seven of his 12 field goal attempts en route to 15 points. Bench members, Kent Bazemore and Marreese Speights, finished in double figures as well, with 12 and 10, respectively.

After center Nikola Vucevic went down early with a sprained ankle, the Magic appeared all but dead in the water. Arron Afflalo led the team yet again with 15 points, but didn’t have his hot shooting stroke, going 7-for-18 from the field. Jameer Nelson tried to will the Magic back into it with a trio of three-pointers in the third quarter. Unfortunately, Nelson’s 11 points weren’t enough to help the Magic climb back into it. Glen Davis was the third and final Magic man in double figures, finishing with 10 on the night.

Magic Game Notes

Lack of Energy
From the start, it was apparent that the Warriors were the team that wanted it more. The Magic were missing shots, failing to rotate on defense, losing out on 50/50 balls – nothing seemed to go right for them. While the Warriors are one of the better defensive teams now thanks to head coach Mark Jackson, Orlando’s inability to get in the paint and score easy buckets killed them on Tuesday night. They were forced into tough contested jumpers and were unable to get anything going consistently offensively. While some of it can be attributed to the loss of Vucevic, the lack of movement offensively and the ball sticking is a big concern for the Magic going forward.

Rebounding Battle
56-37. The Magic were killed from the start on the boards tonight. They missed Vucevic, who’s a rebounding machine, but the teams lack of team rebounding was the biggest problem on the night. Only two Magic players had more than six rebounds, while five Warriors had six or more. Some of it’s a scheme thing, but the Magic struggled rebounding without Vucevic earlier in the month, and if they’re without him for an extended period of time, they could be in trouble.

Ball Movement
After a season-high 30 assists in a win over the Atlanta Hawks, the Magic only dished out 19 on the night. Glen Davis said it during postgame that he felt the ball was sticking at times offensively, and they were unable to find good looks. The Warriors ability to play passing lanes and get after shooters all night got the Magic off their game. It appeared as though players were playing “hero ball” at times, and it’s worrisome that it happens after two of their best team games of the season.

Stat of the Night
Arron Afflalo saw his streak of games with 20+ points, 50+ percent from the field and 50+ percent from three end.

Jacque Vaughn on the impact of losing Vucevic…

“I just think that any time that he’s out, we miss his ability to be big for us at the rim. To rebound the basketball. He’s important to what we do.”

Mark Jackson on taking care of business tonight…

Yes. That’s what good teams do. They handled their business. IT’s a team that obviously early in the game was shorthanded, but I like the way we responded. We came with the correct mindset. A big win from beginning to end.”

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