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Warriors vs Magic Preview: Orlando will need some Magic to take down the defending champs

Stephen Curry will set a new record for consecutive games with a three-pointer as Golden State plays in Florida for a second game in two nights. As the Warriors work Anderson Varejao into the rotation, will we see Marreese Speights any time soon?

Andre Iguadola looks to get the best of young Elfrid Payton tonight in Orlando
Andre Iguadola looks to get the best of young Elfrid Payton tonight in Orlando
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Golden State Warriors
51-5 (27-5 ROAD)
Orlando Magic
25-30 (15-14 HOME)
February 25, 2016
Amway Center, Orlando, FL
4:00pm PDT
CSN Bay Area, NBA TV | KNBR 680 AM
Blog Buddy: Orlando Pinstriped Post
Projected Starters
Stephen Curry G Elfrid Payton
Klay Thompson G Evan Fournier
Harrison Barnes F Victor Oladipo
Draymond Green F Aaron Gordon
Andrew Bogut C Nikola Vucevic
Key Injuries
Festus Ezeli - Out
James Michael McAdoo - Out


Records Continue to Break

Get the DVR set for another early start today! The Dubs take the court at 4pm PT in Orlando, Florida. And be ready to see yet another milestone for the Warriors when Stephen Curry breaks the record tonight for most consecutive games with a three-point field goal, eclipsing Kyle Korver's string of 127 games spanning from 2012-2014. Hard to see Curry's streak breaking anytime soon...

Captain Obvious tells us that the Warriors will be looking to get off to a better start shooting than they did last night in Miami. Perhaps the East Coast start time was an issue, as the Warriors didn't seem quite awake in that first quarter. Another day of acclimation to the new time zone could help. Shooting the three as well as they did in the second half wouldn't hurt either.

Warriors Work on the Center Rotation

It was interesting to see Anderson Varejao get what seemed like more than the 10 minutes recorded in the stat sheet against Miami last night, especially as Marreese Speights recorded a DNP-CD. Varejao brought some solid energy to match the rave reviews we're seeing from the likes of his teammates and coaches, though Hassan Whiteside had a few highlights while Varejao was on the court. We'll see if Varejao continues to get minutes ahead of Mo Buckets as the newcomer learns the team's system.

Speaking of Warriors centers, is it just me or does Andrew Bogut look a little more energized since taking a game off to rest his Achilles? Bogut seemed to be running more enthusiastically than usual on Monday night as he took the Hawks to school on defense. Aside from the inevitable fouls that rack up when facing Dwyane "Draw the Foul" Wade, Bogut again looked pretty mobile last night. Let's see how Bogut is feeling on the second night of a back-to-back as he recovers from that injury.

What to know about the Magic

Orlando has one of the best collections of young talent in the league. Bay Area native Aaron Gordon is riding a wave of popularity after recently wowing the world in the dunk contest in his second season, while Nikola Vucevic is an underrated powerhouse down low in his fifth year. The Magic feature a fun backcourt of Elfrid Payton and Victor Oladipo, an athletic duo that doesn't shoot exceptionally well but is capable of making big plays. If they can drive to the lane to pick up fouls a la Dwyane Wade, that would give them the best chance to give the Dubs a game. Meanwhile, Evan Fournier has been shooting 52% in the last five games for an average of 19.4 points in his fourth year in the league, so the Warriors will want to stay in front of him.

Head Coach Scott Skiles is still getting used to newly acquired Ersan Ilyasova and Brandon Jennings, with Jennings receiving some extra bench time in Monday's loss after committing a foul that didn't sit well with Skiles. Ilyasova isn't shy about shooting the three, which he has hit at a 37% clip over the course of his career. The two former Pistons are joined on the second unit by the rookie Mario Hezonja and veterans Jason Smith and former Warrior C.J. Watson. The edge goes to the Warriors bench here, as usual.

Warriors Will Feast on Slumping Magic Defense

As Cory Hutson from Orlando Pinstriped Post discusses here, the Magic have slumped quite a bit after a stronger than expected start to the season. They won just 2 of 16 games in January with their defense taking a substantial portion of the blame. The awful news for the Magic with the Warriors in town is that Orlando is allowing teams to shoot a high percentage from three-point range lately. Again, Captain Obvious will note that Curry and Thompson are likely to take advantage of that trend, and maybe Draymond Green can use this as an opportunity to get his long range shooting back on track. If the Magic don't find some answers on defense, it could be another fourth quarter of rest for Curry and company tonight.

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