Undermanned Warriors overwhelm Magic, 103-89
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) Stephen Curry had 23 points and five assists, Klay Thompson scored 20 points and the undermanned Golden State Warriors overwhelmed the Orlando Magic 103-89 on Tuesday night.
The backcourt duo sparked an 18-4 run at the start of the second half that put the Warriors ahead by 24 points. They became the first pair of teammates in NBA history to combine for at least 400 3-pointers in consecutive seasons.
David Lee added 20 points and 10 rebounds to help the Warriors offset the absences of Andre Iguodala (right knee tendinitis), Andrew Bogut (left ankle inflammation) and Jermaine O’Neal (undisclosed reasons).
Nikola Vucevic scored 15 points and Tobias Harris added 14 points and six rebounds for the overmatched Magic, who lost their sixth straight game.
The Warriors weren’t taking any chances at the beginning of their five-game homestand. They opted to rest three key players – including two starters – even as they jockey for playoff position in the crowded Western Conference standings.
The Warriors (43-26) remain in sixth place in the West. They’re still 1 1/2 games behind Portland, which beat Milwaukee 120-115 in overtime Tuesday night, and improved to 1 1/2 games ahead of idle Dallas.
Bogut and O’Neal could return Thursday night against Milwaukee. Iguodala will sit out against the Bucks and Saturday’s game versus San Antonio.
While the Magic (19-49) are among the NBA’s worst teams, the Warriors have struggled at times this season against lesser competition at Oracle Arena.
Golden State had won five straight at home until losing to Cleveland on Friday. That loss brought back memories of a 4-6 stretch in January and February that included home losses to teams such as Denver, Minnesota, Washington and Charlotte.
The game against Orlando looked like it could follow those earlier upsets at the start.
The Magic led by three in the first quarter and stuck with Golden State for most of the second quarter. The Warriors, using a smaller lineup to spread the floor, ended the first half on a brief run to take a 57-47 into the break.
The talent gap between the two teams, which has changed dramatically since Dwight Howard left Orlando two seasons ago, turned out to be too much for Orlando to overcome.
The Warriors opened the second half on an 18-4 run, with the biggest highlights coming from long range. Thompson and Curry connected on two 3-pointers apiece during the spurt, the last one in the corner from Curry that stretched the Warriors’ lead to 75-51 with 7:51 remaining in the third quarter.
Curry finished 9-of-13 shooting, including 3 of 6 from 3-point range. Thompson shot 7 for 14 from the floor and was 4 for 5 from beyond the arc.
The Warriors led 87-66 entering the fourth. The Magic moved within 92-81 halfway through the quarter before the Warriors pulled away again.
NOTES: The Warriors swept the season series against the Magic for the first time since 1991-92. … Orlando plays at Phoenix on Wednesday night. … The Warriors return to action Thursday night at home against Milwaukee.
Antonio Gonzalez can be reached at: www.twitter.com/agonzalezAP