Despite playing without Andrew Bogut or Andre Iguodala who were both out due to injury, the Warriors coasted to a 103-89 home victory over the visiting Orlando Magic on Tuesday night. For the second game in a row, the #SplashBrothers led the way for the Dubs with some phenomenal shooting. Stephen Curry scored a game-high 23 points on 9-of-13 shooting to go with five assists, while Klay Thompson added 20 points on 7-of-14 shooting, including 4-of-5 from long range. David Lee notched another double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds, while Mo Speights added 13 points and 8 boards off the bench. The victory pushes the Warriors record to 43-26. They’ll look to build on that momentum and make it three-straight wins when they take on the Bucks on Thursday.
On tonight's win:
“A quality win for us. Really pleased with the way we got after It. We handled our business and competed. I thought we were very unselfish and did a great job of sharing the basketball. We got some good play from our bench also. We continue to chalk up wins and we are closing it out the right way. I’m even more pleased that we could do it with guys getting rest and proper treatment. Just a big win for us.”
On Jermaine O'Neal's DNP:
“I was getting my Pop (Gregg Poppovich) on. Just resting. He’s been beaten up pretty much. If I had to use him he was available, but he hasn’t practiced much and took a good hit in the Portland game. I knew going that the chances were- I wasn’t going to use him. Pretty much knew that in case of an emergency, I did not want to use him especially with all the miles that he is. It’s important for those guys to stay fresh and healthy.”
On if he thinks the evolution of the team is the ability to rest starters:
“No, I think if Pop rests guys and they lose, its Pop. If I rest guys and I lose I’m on the hot seat. I don’t think it’s the same thing. “
On if he thinks Jermaine O'Neal could be back for Thursday:
“Not really sure. I’ll talk with him tomorrow and see how he is feeling. To me, probably leaning towards continuing to try and get him close to be a fresh live body. I’ll talk with him tomorrow and see how he’s doing. The main is for these guys to continue to get treated and take care of their bodies.”
On the five day break following Saturday's game:
“It’s huge. You probably look at the schedule when it’s handed out and say ‘Why in the world would we have a five day break at the end of the year?’ Now you look at it and say it’s much needed. We have guys that have beaten up and have been trying to mix-and-match and create lineups while playing players extend minutes. There is a method to the madness. It’s important for us now to do whatever we can to continue to get that extended break where we can recover.”
On winning games like this:
“You’ve got to win games at home down the stretch. This is one of those situations obviously, so big win for us to try to regain some momentum after two tough losses and keep it moving.”
On players stepping in for injured starters:
“He always teaches the no excuse, next man up mentality. You have a guy like Draymond [Green] who can come in and play a lot of different positions. Mo (Marreese Speights) comes in after not having played much as of late, comes in and provides us instant impact on both ends of the floor. We’re a deep team so a big performance by everybody, especially at the defensive end, and good to get the win.”
On the third quarter 18-0 run:
“I think that was the best we moved the ball in consecutive possessions. There weren’t a lot of pick-and-rolls but just find the right guy, turn down good shots for better shots. When we are able to do that and get uncontested looks at the basket there are usually going to be good things for us. That’s kind of what happened early in the quarter. We got stops and were able to push in transition and get that ball moving.”
On the game:
“It was a good win for us. You saw how deep our team is that we had four guys really out and the reserves came in, starters came in and played good.”
On players stepping in for injured starters:
“It’s very important. Like I said, it shows you how deep the team is. The bench always stays ready. Every chance we get we, go out there and play as hard as we can.”
On getting more minutes tonight:
“I look at it as an opportunity and a chance to go out there and help the team. I know we’ve got a lot of guys and we’re deep, so I know sometimes coach can’t put me in the game. I understand that. I get an opportunity like this, I make sure I capitalize.”
Tuesday’s contest begins a stretch of five-straight home games over a 12-day span to close out the month of March for the Warriors. This will be the second and final meeting between the two teams this season. Golden State defeated the Magic 94-81 in Orlando back on New Year’s Eve. With the season winding down and the schedule working in the Warriors’ favor, it’s crucial the Dubs take advantage, starting with a victory on Tuesday night. BUY TICKETS
LAST TIME OUT
A big night from the Splash Brothers pushed the Warriors to a 113-112 win over the Trail Blazers in Portland on Sunday night. Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson combined for 64 points, 51 of which came in the second half helping the Dubs comeback from an 18-point deficit. David Lee added 16 points, while the bench totaled 23 points. Playing in his 500th career game, Andrew Bogut tallied six points, seven rebounds, three assists and three blocks. Next up for the Warriors is a Tuesday night matchup with the Orlando Magic back on Warriors Ground. GAME RECAP
MAKING A SPLASH
There’s just something magical about Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson getting on a roll from long distance. Their skills were on full display Sunday night, as the Splash Brothers put the Warriors on their backs and carried the Dubs to victory, one splash at a time. We’ve seen them each go off in spectacular individual shooting displays plenty of times before, but rarely have we ever seen them simultaneously light the court on fire the way they did in this comeback victory, combining for 51 points in the second half alone. While both of them have established themselves as two of the very best shooters in the entire league, it’s important to remember that they still have room to grow. Sunday’s incendiary performance offered a sneak peek into what they’re potentially capable of, and it’s safe to assume the Trail Blazers weren’t the only ones taking notice.
If you counted the Warriors out after falling 18 points down in the second quarter on Sunday night, don’t worry, you’re not alone. However, at this point, it’s doubtful many of us are that surprised at the final outcome, as Sunday’s victory accounted for the sixth comeback win of 15 points or more for the Dubs this season, twice as many as any other team in the NBA. Certainly, it’s difficult to explain why a team as talented as the Warriors has ended up in so many extreme comeback situations in the first place, and while that is concerning, the greater takeaway is the quantity of those wins itself. We do not yet know how far the Warriors will go into the postseason, but after racking up several of these kinds of unlikely comeback victories, you’d have to think that would bode well for Golden State in the playoffs, when they are sure to encounter similar adverse situations. You’d much rather the Dubs learn these important lessons during the regular season, when growing pains are inevitably less drastic. Comeback wins such as Sunday’s have proven the Warriors battle tested, and have significantly decreased the chances the Dubs end up in a situation they have not encountered before.
ORLANDO SCOUTING REPORT
Unfortunately for Orlando, their season hasn’t exactly been overflowing with magic this year. Sitting at 19-48 and well out of playoff positioning in the East, this season has been somewhat of a lost one for the Magic, who weren’t exactly viewed as a conference power at its inception to begin with. Although their record indicates their struggles, they are certainly not without the talent to look upon the future with optimism. Victor Oladipo, whom Orlando selected with the second overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, has proven himself worthy of his high selection, and looks to have a very bright career ahead of him. Pair him with young standout big man Nikola Vucevic, and suddenly the Magic have the makings of one of the best young small-big cores in the league. Orlando won both meetings with the Warriors a season ago, so the Dubs are well aware of what they bring to the table. This is the kind of trap game that has caused the Warriors issues throughout the season, so they must not take the Magic lightly if they hope to continue to build on the momentum resulting from Sunday’s big win.
GSW: Festus Ezeli (recovery from right knee surgery) is out.