Even though his team isn’t as strong as it was during his back-to-back MVP seasons, Stephen Curry continues to show how great he is.
Curry had 40 points, eight rebounds and five assists, while Andre Wiggins chipped in with 21 to lead the Dubs to a 111-105 win over the short-handed Orlando Magic.
Head coach Steve Kerr isn’t surprised by what Curry has done throughout the season.
“It’s routine, which is the crazy part of it. You just come to expect it, Kerr said. “These 3s that he hits when there’s nothing there offensively, and he just uses his dribble to just free himself up, not exactly with a ton of space, just a few inches of space, and then he rises up and you expect every single one of them to go in. It’s kind of crazy. He’s in a really good groove.”
It was close throughout the second half, but the Warriors were finally able to put a Magic team that was missing four regulars away with a 16-6 run in the fourth quarter.
That's just pretty.@22wiggins || #NBAAllStar pic.twitter.com/fCUzgU1RlN— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) February 12, 2021
We saw the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Dubs in this one. Even without a center, the Warriors are a much better team than the Magic, who have lost seven of their last eight games. The Dubs looked like they were in a different class than Orlando in the first and fourth quarters but struggled in the second and third.
“Well it was an interesting game. A lot of swings, some strategic adjustments by both teams along the way,” Kerr said. “They made us earn it with 48 minutes. We got it done, I was very proud of our guys.”
The poor play came mainly on the offensive end. Without Curry in the game, Golden State lacks a playmaker to attack the rim and create for teammates. The good news is that Draymond Green is finding his form.
Green finished with 11 assists, the fifth-straight game he hit double-digit dimes.
#SPLASH no. 10 for Stephen Curry— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) February 12, 2021
Dimes no. 10 for Draymond Green
Golden State came out hot to start the game against an Orlando team that was missing Aaron Gordon, Cole Anthony and Michael Carter-Williams. The Dubs led 29-19 after the opening 12 minutes and looked like they were well on their way to a comfortable victory.
But as has been the case often to start the second quarter, the second unit allowed the opposition to get back into the game with Curry on the bench.
The Magic outscored the Warriors 12-6 over a stretch of 5:43 with Steph out of the game. When Curry returned, the offense continued to be stagnant for the rest of the second quarter.
There was little ball movement and a lot of settling for outside shots. Golden State attempted a franchise record 30 shots from beyond the arc in the first half while only shooting two free throws. Those came with 1:45 left in the second quarter when Andrew Wiggins hit both of his attempts from the charity stripe.
Orlando outscored Golden State 36-18 in the period. The Magic’s second unit kept them in the game, combining to score 31 points in the first half, to the Warriors eight.
Whatever Kerr said to his players during the break seemed to work. After Vucevic hit a 3 to start the third, Curry and Draymond Green combined to score 11-straight points to tie the game. Golden State was able to take an 84-80 lead into the final quarter, which is when the Warriors could finally pull away from a pesky Orlando squad.
All-in-all it was another inconsistent performance for the Warriors. They looked great for stretches and looked like a bottom-five team at others. Either way, a win is a win, and Golden State is two games over .500 at 14-12.
Kerr also said he is hopeful that rookie James Wiseman will return to the lineup soon. That will give the Warriors a big boost.
Next up: The Dubs host Kevin Durant and the Brooklyn Nets. It will be the first time the Warriors face Durant since he signed with Brooklyn as a free agent during the 2019 offseason.