By John Denton
December 3, 2012
OAKLAND – Less than 24 hours after a physically and emotionally draining victory just down the California coast, the Orlando Magic were back at it Monday night and again playing against the odds.
But unlike on Sunday in Los Angeles when the Magic rolled with fourth-quarter precision and crisp execution, this time around they found a way to win using their grit and determination early and their beliefs in each other late.
The Magic never found much of a flow all night shooting the ball, but stayed afloat early with some tough rebounding from Nickola Vucevic and Glen ``Big Baby’’ Davis and thrived late in the game in pick-and-roll plays with J.J. Redick and Davis.
And when Orlando’s 102-94 defeat of the vastly improved Golden State Warriors was complete, it had a second victory in as many nights and one – considering all of the circumstances – that might have been just as impressive as the defeat of Dwight Howard and the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday.
``I think it’s as impressive and we played as well or better than (Sunday) night,’’ Redick said. ``There’s always a tendency to let down on back-to-back, especially after an emotional win like (Sunday) night and Golden State is very good at home. So we did a really good job of playing with energy and playing unselfishly.’’
A night after setting a franchise record with 13 fourth-quarter assists in a 40-point final period, the Magic (7-10) broke open a tie game in Monday’s final 12 minutes with more solid play in the clutch. The Magic outscored the Warriors (10-7) 33-25 in the fourth quarter to secure a second consecutive victory for the third time this season.
Redick, who drilled a key 3-pointer late on Sunday, had 17 of his 22 points in the second half. He also totally controlled the game on the offensive end by picking Golden State’s defense apart in pick-and-roll plays. Redick got the ball time and again late in the game and finished with seven assists.
A night after scoring a season-best 30 points, Arron Afflalo had 24 points, while Davis chipped in 24 points and six rebounds. And Vucevic continued his physical play around the rim by contributing a second straight double-double with 14 points and 15 rebounds.
``I’m very impressed with this team. It was a challenge in front of us to not hang our (hats) on (Sunday’s) win and coming out focused and approaching this game as an individual game,’’ Magic coach Jacque Vaughn said. ``Guys did an incredible job of focusing from the beginning of the game.’’
The Magic have started their longest roadtrip of the season with impressive victories in Los Angeles and Golden State. The nine-day, five-game roadtrip continues Wednesday in Utah against the Jazz. Orlando also plays in Sacramento (Friday) and Phoenix (Sunday) during the longest roadtrip of the season.
Stephen Curry had 25 points for the Warriors, who hadn’t played since Saturday and came into the night tied with the Los Angeles Clippers for the lead in the Pacific Division.
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