Greatest point guard alive Stephen Curry missed tonight’s game with a thigh contusion, and it didn’t matter. Shaun Livingston was stellar in replacement of our 2xMVP Curry, with 16 points and 6 assists as The Golden State Warriors overwhelmed the Orlando Magic 110-100.
Early on the champs had difficulty finding a flow without Steph’s gravity to stretch out the opposing defense. They settled for a few tough jumpers, threw a few dumb turnovers, and the Warriors announcers cautioned the Warriors to eschew the “home-run plays” for patient basketball tactics. The possessions routinely devolved into hideous garbage thrown at the rim in the middle of a cluster of Magic defenders. High-flyer-turned-sniper Aaron Gordon knocked down two threes early, and the Magic finished the first quarter up 29-27 as the Warriors had five turnovers.
The Warriors eventually activated their beautiful passing rhythm, and it led to easy buckets in the paint.
Who said Nick Young only shoots threes!? He opened up the 2nd period with some heady off ball action to get this sweet jam.
Then Shaun Livingston, Curry’s replacement tonight, got a great pass and then faked out Gordon with a sweet pump fake for the jam.
Shaun Livingston P.H.D in fooling his defender pic.twitter.com/AyTOHHvPaO— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) November 14, 2017
With the crowd getting into it and momentum swelling, Kevin Durant and Kevon Looney combined for a huge Double Dragons block on Gordon. This was followed by KD putting some And-1 moves on the young fella for a purty jumper.
The teams finished the half tied at 56, with the Dubs cashing in with 18 assists. Livingston had 12, and Durant helped carry the load early with 12 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists. Nikola Vucevic paced Orlando with 13 points and 3 dimes.
Normally Curry unleashes a dominant performance in the third quarter so that he can chill for the final period. Tonight, without him, the Dubs still left the Magic in the rear view mirror after halftime. The Warriors pushed the pace and wore Orlando down with swarming defense, and aggressive offensive, outscoring Orlando 32-19. My favorite play of the quarter was this crafty, athletic scoop from Green to Looney under the rim for an easy dunk. Doesn’t it seem like Looney’s always in the right place this season?
The Warriors continued their constrictor like defense and timely offense in the final closing quarter. The most notable moment, as Orlando was slowly choked out, was a confrontation between former and current beloved, burly, jump shooting power forwards Mo Speights and David West.
I was mildly amused to see the two dopplegangers jawing at each other. The only intrigue down the stretch was whether or not the Dubs would win an NBA record seven straight games by 17+ points (spoiler alert: they didn’t).
Quinn Cook, one of the champs G-league 2-way contract players, checked in with five minutes left, and the Dubs up 20, and the game was effectively over from there.
Durant finished with 21 points, 8 assists, and 7 dimes. Draymond upped his scoring with an efficient 20 points on 8-for-11 shooting (3-of-5 from downtown) along with 5 assists.
Orlando were second in league coming in at three-point shooting at 40 percent, and the Warriors heady defense limited them to 10 of 32 for 31% from downtown.
The Warriors have won seven straight, including a tidy sweep of their four-game homestand. This was also their ninth straight win over Orlando. The Dubs next game will be Thursday on the road against the Kyrie Irving and the impressive Boston Celtics. I’m sure Steph won’t miss a chance to war against his old rival and dance partner Uncle Drew.
So, did the Magic impress y’all, or nah?
Who’s your Warriors Wonder against the Magic?
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