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Recap: Warriors 117, Magic 108- We Got the Magic Streak!

Don't look now, but the Warriors have a 2 game winning streak... on the road!

Final Box Score

It was magical- the Warriors were NOT going to lose this one.
(AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

I'll be perfectly honest. When the Warriors began their current road trip with a close loss to the red hot Suns (our old friend Gilbert gave them a little hibachi! tonight though), an embarrassing loss to the Toronto Craptors, and a 4th quarter collapse against the Nets, I thought this team was about to go winless on a 6 game road trip. I have to hand it to this team, they bounced back with that ugly win the other night in Boston and big win tonight against a quality Magic squad.

What Worked
So here's why the Warriors won tonight:

  • Aggressive play all around: The biggest worry for the Warriors coming into this game had to be Dwight Howard abusing them inside, but with their scrappy play (11 steals and 8 blocks) and fastbreak points (31) the Dubs were able to nullify his damage.
  • Protecting the ball: The Warriors kept the turnovers down tonight with only 13. This was a big, much-needed improvement after the frustrating unforced turnovers and sloppy play in the Boston game. Let's take a second and relish this moment- the Warriors showed IMPROVEMENT. That's big for a team that seems to keep making the same mistakes over and over. The whole squad deserves a lot of credit for this.
  • That Baron Davis fellow: See Wonder, Warrior.
  • Sweet Shooting from Mike Dunleavy: This might have been one of the worst defensive efforts I've seen Dunleavy have in a long time. Jameer Nelson confidently shot over him and at one point Dunleavy foolishly went under a screen. But it didn't matter with Dun knocking so many big shots tonight. His offensive output fair outweighed those defensive shortcomings. The most memorable moment for Dunleavy was a prayer from 3pt land that banked in as the shot clock was expiring. Last season that was an airball or even a silly turnover, but this season that shot has a chance to go in. Dunleavy's never going to be great defender, but when he shoots like he did tonight he can be a big reason why the Warriors win.
  • Efficiency from Money Monta: Nellie really seems to be trying hard to mold Monta Ellis into a starting point guard, but I still see him as a Tony Parker or Bobby Jackson in his prime type of player (quick, score-first point guards). Monta's strength is being a game-changing scorer by taking it strong to the rim, drawing fouls, and knocking down shots at a high percentage. Asking him to create for others and make major decisions as a facilitator is playing to his weakness. Nellie put Monta in an ideal position to succeed by bringing him off the bench tonight and succeed is exactly what Monta did. When Monta goes to the line 10+ times a night the Warriors are going to win a lot of their games.
  • Get this: The Warriors came up BIG in the 4th quarter outscoring the Magic 37 to 27. Isn't it amazing how many good things happen when you step up in crunch time? It's magical if you will.

Poor Pietrus
Along with Matt Barnes, Mickael Pietrus pitched in a solid effort. Sadly, the man got knocked in the snoz not once, but twice. From one of our sources in Orlando, MP2 is going to need Warriors Nation's full support. Mickael was in a TON of pain- the kind of pain you wouldn't even wish on the Lakers and their annoying, uneducated fan base. Mickael's probably going to miss some games and end up joining Troy Murphy as the Phantom of the Oracle. The Mask Part II is coming.

Stay up Mickael!
(Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images)

Throwing It Down with Trevor
Tonight was a big win on the road, but the Warriors were far from perfect. Let's quickly run through the problems because they're stuff this roster has the potential to build on and actually improve upon:

  • Will the real JRich please stand up? Seriously, who is that guy out there wearing #23? It's not the Jason of years past. I fully expect Rich to return to form. The only question is when. Until then, he's actually hurting this team out on the court.
  • Andris Biedrins has to play smarter and avoid those silly fouls. 4 fouls in 17 minutes? Ouch. He's his own worst enemy with those fouls.
  • Ike Diogu and Nellie need to sit down and work things out man to man. Something's up and it seems like it might be personal. The Warriors need Ike and his low post moves to make their offense more powerful. Ike needs to play smarter in the zone defensive schemes. Nellie needs to have a longer leash with him when he makes mistakes. Come on fellas!

Aside from those 3 issues, there really was only one other downside to the festivities in the Magic Kingdom. I thought the Dubs were going to be victimized by a career night by Travis Diener, but it was the UCLA alum and Isiah Thomas draft pick Trevor Ariza with 23 points, 6 boards, 4 dimes, and 2 steals.

Well, you know what happened next.

(Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images)

Moving on...

Warrior Wonder
Orlando is the wonderful world of Disney, so we'll go extra wonderful with tonight's award- trifecta wonderful. The obvious Warrior Wonder is Baron Davis with 38 points and 9 dimes. It wasn't just the points, it was how he got the points- the drives, the trademark fade-away jumpers, and the 15 trips to the line.

Baron: "RAISE UP!"
(Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images)

Boom Dizzle made the near impossible look easy.

Get IN!
(Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images)

Let's not forget BD's hustle on the defensive end either with 4 picks and a block. It was simply a magical night for B Deazy. Can you believe Baron only had two turnovers tonight?

Move aside Mickey! Tonight Boom Dizzle was the one dazzling Minnie Mouse in the Magic Kingdom.

Warrior Wonder #2 goes to Adonal Foyle for coming in and making this win happen with those 4 swats and solid, blue-collar play. Okay, keeping it real Foyle didn't have the greatest night, but hey I'd strongly prefer to see "enthusiastic" GSoM community member mistererickk not "slappin' some foos" (see open thread) so Adonal- say hello to your first Warrior Wonder of the season! I'd like to join mistererickk and say that if BD doesn't make the All Star squad this season I'll be slappin' some foos as well. Well said, misterickk. Well said.

Also, tonight's Warrior Wonder goes to loyal GSoM community member jmefrisco- Happy BDay!

'Track of the Day: Lil Kim featuring 50 Cent- "Magic Stick"

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