By John Denton
December 14, 2012
Stephen Curry scored 25 points and David Lee added 24 points and 15 rebounds. The Warriors (15-8) got within 63-54 midway through the third quarter before Orlando scored next 11 points on 3-pointers by Moore, Afflalo and Redick and two free throws from Nicholson.
``I’m sure glad we don’t have to play them again this year,’’ Magic coach Jacque Vaughn said. ``They are a team that’s been playing extremely well, but we’re just a team that got our legs back underneath us a little bit. We had a good practice (on Thursday) and we were fresh. I think it showed in our ability to make shots. It’s good to have a lot of things go well for us tonight.’’
The Magic are back in action Saturday night in Charlotte against the struggling Bobcats. Following an impressive start that allowed them to pass last year’s win total with seven early victories, Charlotte has dropped its past 10 games. It will be the first of four meetings this season between the Magic and the Bobcats.
The Magic made it a point of emphasis to get off to a better start Friday night and that certainly was the case after they turned a five-point first-quarter lead into a 51-35 edge at halftime. Orlando moved well and shared the ball in the first half, registering 14 assists on their 21 field goals in the first half.
Defensively, Orlando was even better in the first half by holding Golden State’s high-powered offense to 15 of 52 shooting (28.8 percent). Harkless and Nicholson each did their best to keep the Warriors out of the lane, swatting four shots apiece in the first half.
Nicholson, who had a career performance earlier in the week in Phoenix, dominated play on both ends of the floor in the first half. He made six of seven shots for 13 first-half points and he added seven rebounds. His confident play in the post was similar to Sunday when he pounded the Suns for career highs in points (19) and rebounds (nine).
``I’m just trying to do the little things off the bench to pick the team up when I can,’’ Nicholson said.
Just two days after falling into a 16-2 against Atlanta and trailing after the first quarter for the 10th time in the past 11 games, the Magic opened the first period with a strong showing. Orlando disregarded an early 6-2 hole, grabbed control of the game and ultimately pushed the lead as high as 16 points in the first half.
``They came out with a lot of confidence because they have been playing good basketball, but we withstood their little 6-2 start because we stayed in attack mode and stuck with our defensive principles,’’ Afflalo said. ``We were able to pull away from them in that first quarter.’’
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