Magic go down 116-110 in gutsy performance against Warriors
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Ever the perfectionist and competitor, Kevin Durant knows he should have scored well more than 50 points if a few more shots had fallen.
“I’m pretty sure all my teammates felt that way,” the typically efficient Golden State star said.
Durant scored a season-high 49 points, giving Golden State the lead on a three-point play with 1:19 left before hitting a 3-pointer with 22 seconds remaining to send the Warriors past the Orlando Magic, 116-110 on Monday night.
“I still missed 17 shots. I tricked off a 50-piece. I felt like I had some shots that I wish I could have made last game and this game,” Durant said.
“I could be in a better groove I feel like. Just playing a lot of minutes and having the ball in your hands, especially with the way the game is, the flow of the game. Obviously if you can score a little bit, you’re going to score some points in this league.”
Durant topped his 44-point performance two nights earlier with another brilliant outing on both ends, even if he didn’t like shooting 16 for 33. Klay Thompson was his scoring sidekick once more as the two-time defending NBA champions played without injured All-Stars Stephen Curry and Draymond Green.
Thompson hit his sixth 3 of the night to tie it with 1:45 left and finished with 29 points.
The past three games, Durant has scored 125 points and Thompson 91.
“It was hard to stop them. That’s why they’re such great players,” Orlando’s Nikola Vucevic said. “They made shot after shot at the end.”
Durant became the seventh player in Warriors history to post consecutive 40-point games — along with Rick Barry, Wilt Chamberlain, Curry, Antawn Jamison, Purvis Short and Thompson, according to Elias.
Vucevic had 30 points, 12 rebounds and six assists for the Magic, who were coming off a victory at the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday.
Durant also had nine assists, six rebounds, two steals and two blocks, having taken his defense to another level the past week.
He and Thompson have carried the load as the Warriors won a third straight following a rare four-game losing streak.
Golden State closed the third on a 12-2 run to pull within 83-79 heading into the final 12 minutes. Mo Bamba’s 3 with 10:35 to go gave the Magic an 88-79 lead before Thompson answered from deep the next two possessions.
Quinn Cook, starting in place of Curry, contributed eight points, six rebounds and four assists as Golden State concluded a four-game homestand by beating the Magic for the 11th straight time — the Warriors’ second-longest active streak against an opponent after 16 wins in a row against Phoenix.
The Warriors shot just 4 for 15 from 3-point range in the first half and fell behind 64-47 at the break. They hope two-time MVP Curry will return at some point during their upcoming five-game road trip. Curry missed his 11th straight game with a strained left groin, while Green sat out a sixth in a row and eighth in all with a sprained right toe.
Evan Fournier made four of his first six shots then missed his final eight for Orlando.
Curry scrimmaged Monday and is scheduled to go through a full practice Tuesday, making it possible he could play Thursday at Toronto.
“He might,” coach Steve Kerr said.
“Steph looked good today. Totally dominated the film crew,” Kerr quipped. “They couldn’t guard him. (Assistant) Willie Green put up a pretty good fight, but he’s a couple of years past his prime.”
Magic: Aaron Gordon began 0 for 6 then left in the third with lower back tightness and didn’t return. … The Magic are 2-2 on the road vs. the West. … Orlando hasn’t beaten the Warriors since Dec. 14, 2012, and not in Oakland since Dec. 3 that same year.
Warriors: Durant is 29 of 30 from the free throw line the past two games. “I’m trying to stay over 90 this year. Hopefully my 3-point percentage comes up, too.”… Golden State is 7-1 against the Eastern Conference this season. … The Warriors won their sixth straight at home vs. Orlando. … Green was limited to conditioning work Monday and rode the bike. He needs to be on the court a couple of times before Kerr is ready to put him back in a game. … Key reserve Alfonzo McKinnie was sidelined a sixth consecutive game.
Magic: Continue their West Coast swing at Portland on Wednesday.
Warriors: At Raptors on Thursday trying for a ninth straight victory in the series and fifth in a row in Toronto.
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