Wednesday, January 24, 2018
Sports

Warriors flash muscle on D to blow out Magic

ORLANDO — It was well known that the Warriors could score. Now they are becoming a good defensive team.

Golden State used halfcourt defensive pressure to beat the Magic 94-81 on Tuesday night.

"Defense is not something we're known for," said forward and former Gator David Lee, who led the Warriors with 22 points. "Everyone looks at our team and the ability to shoot the ball and score, but we're a Top 10 defensive team, too."

The Warriors held Orlando to 38 percent shooting and led by 12 early in the first quarter and 23 at halftime. They were so comfortable with their defense that when the Magic made its only run of the game late in the third quarter, the reserves stayed on the floor and finished out the game.

"That's the 14th time we've held a team under 40 percent, so we've got to get some recognition as far as the way we defend," Golden State Coach Mark Jackson said. "We defended from the opening jump and were really locked in the whole night."

Golden State won its sixth straight, its longest winning streak in six years. Klay Thompson scored 15, Kent Bazemore had 12 and St. Petersburg native and ex-Gator Marreese Speights 10 for Golden State, which survived a rash of turnovers (17) to shoot 48.8 percent for the game.

"It starts defensively when we get stops," said Stephen Curry, who had nine points, eight assists and five rebounds, but sat out the fourth quarter along with the rest of the Warriors starters. "That leads to better offensive possessions and it's fun. We're enjoying ourselves out there."

It was anything but fun for the Magic, which was trying for its season-best third straight victory. Arron Afflalo led Orlando with 15 points, Jameer Nelson had 11 and Glen Davis 10, but the Magic got down early and never made a serious run.

"There has to be accountability everywhere," Davis said. "That's what has to happen for us to be a team that people take seriously."

The Magic lost its leading rebounder, center Nikola Vucevic, in the middle of the first quarter with a sprained ankle. That was part of the reason Golden State dominated the glass, outrebounding Orlando 56-37.

"He's one of the best centers in the NBA, but he wasn't there so we can't sit and make excuses," said Tobias Harris, who led the team with nine rebounds. "That's the NBA. Somebody gets hurt, just keep playing. We're better than that and we know we're better than that."

The Warriors used a 16-2 run in the middle of the first quarter to take a 22-10 lead and never let the advantage get under 10 the rest of the game.

Sparked by Nelson's two 3-pointers, the Magic pulled within 74-59 at the end of the third quarter. Harris' layup to start the fourth quarter made it a 13-point game, but that was as close as Orlando could come.

Golden State shut the Magic down early, trapping Orlando ballhandlers and making the Magic take many attempts late in the shot clock. Orlando shot 38.2 percent for the game.

GAME HIGHLIGHTS: Paul Millsap had season highs with 34 points and 15 rebounds and the visiting Hawks rallied for a 92-91 win over the Celtics. Jeff Teague hit two free throws with 1:30 for the final margin. … Rudy Gay had 25 points and DeMarcus Cousins took over late in the fourth quarter to lift the visiting Kings to a 110-106 victory over the Rockets. Sacramento trailed by three before Cousins scored four quick points to make it 105-104. He then stole the ball from James Harden and passed to Ben McLemore for an easy layup. … Paul George scored 21, Roy Hibbert added 19 and the host Pacers used a dominant fourth quarter to blow out the Cavaliers 91-76. Indiana has won eight in a row over Cleveland, its longest active streak against any opponent. … Tony Parker had 18 points to lead six players in double figures, and the host Spurs rolled past the Nets 113-92.

REFS GOOFED: The NBA acknowledged that the Timberwolves were on the short end of an officiating error. Less than 24 hours after Minnesota lost at home to the Mavericks 100-98, president of basketball operations Rod Thorn said Kevin Love was fouled on his right arm by Shawn Marion in the closing seconds and should have been awarded two free throws. Officials Ed Malloy and David Guthrie were near the play, but neither blew their whistle.

AROUND THE LEAGUE: Cavaliers All-Star guard Kyrie Irving injured his left knee during the loss to the Pacers and is scheduled to have an MRI exam today. … Bulls forward Luol Deng was in the starting lineup after missing five games with a sore left Achilles tendon. … The Pelicans waived reserve forward Lou Amundson.

Warriors 94, Magic 81

GOLDEN STATE (94): Iguodala 3-6 0-0 8, Lee 11-15 0-0 22, Bogut 4-5 0-2 8, Curry 4-10 0-0 9, Thompson 7-12 0-0 15, Barnes 1-7 0-0 2, Green 3-5 0-0 6, Speights 3-10 4-4 10, Douglas 0-3 0-0 0, Bazemore 4-9 2-4 12, Kuzmic 1-3 0-0 2. Totals 41-85 6-10 94.

ORLANDO (81): Harris 2-11 1-2 5, Davis 4-10 2-3 10, Vucevic 2-5 0-0 4, Nelson 4-11 0-0 11, Afflalo 7-18 1-3 15, Oladipo 3-7 2-2 8, Moore 1-4 0-0 3, O'Quinn 2-4 0-0 4, Nicholson 2-6 0-0 5, Harkless 2-4 1-1 5, Maxiell 4-5 0-0 8, Price 0-1 0-0 0, Lamb 1-3 1-2 3. Totals 34-89 8-13 81.

Golden State 26 32 16 20— 94

Orlando 15 20 24 22— 81

3-Point GoalsGolden State 6-27 (Bazemore 2-4, Iguodala 2-5, Curry 1-5, Thompson 1-5, Speights 0-1, Green 0-2, Barnes 0-2, Douglas 0-3), Orlando 5-19 (Nelson 3-7, Moore 1-1, Nicholson 1-3, Harkless 0-1, Harris 0-3, Afflalo 0-4). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsGolden State 64 (Bogut 11), Orlando 44 (Harris 9). AssistsGolden State 21 (Curry 8), Orlando 19 (Nelson 6). Total FoulsGolden State 13, Orlando 13. TechnicalsGolden State defensive three second. A15,062 (18,500).

Hawks 92, Celtics 91

ATLANTA (92): Scott 4-12 0-0 8, Millsap 12-19 10-14 34, Brand 1-2 2-2 4, Teague 6-17 4-4 16, Korver 5-11 3-3 14, Antic 2-5 0-0 5, Williams 0-8 0-0 0, Mack 1-9 2-2 5, Schroder 0-0 0-0 0, Ayon 0-4 0-0 0, Martin 2-4 0-0 6. Totals 33-91 21-25 92.

BOSTON (91): Green 4-10 0-0 8, Bass 2-6 5-6 9, Sullinger 1-6 0-0 2, Crawford 3-15 1-1 8, Bradley 2-10 4-4 8, Humphries 7-13 4-4 18, Lee 5-7 0-0 11, Pressey 0-1 0-0 0, Wallace 3-5 0-0 6, Olynyk 8-11 2-2 21. Totals 35-84 16-17 91.

Atlanta 20 19 23 30— 92

Boston 23 21 23 24— 91

3-Point GoalsAtlanta 5-29 (Martin 2-4, Antic 1-4, Mack 1-4, Korver 1-6, Millsap 0-1, Scott 0-3, Teague 0-3, Williams 0-4), Boston 5-20 (Olynyk 3-5, Lee 1-1, Crawford 1-7, Pressey 0-1, Wallace 0-1, Green 0-2, Bradley 0-3). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsAtlanta 60 (Millsap 15), Boston 52 (Humphries, Sullinger 10). AssistsAtlanta 21 (Korver, Mack, Teague 5), Boston 28 (Crawford, Pressey, Olynyk 5). Total FoulsAtlanta 15, Boston 22. TechnicalsBoston defensive three second. A18,624 (18,624).

Pacers 91, Cavaliers 76

CLEVELAND (76): Clark 2-11 2-2 7, Thompson 3-11 1-4 7, Varejao 5-13 4-6 14, Irving 3-9 4-4 10, Miles 2-5 1-1 5, Waiters 5-13 2-2 12, Zeller 3-5 1-2 7, Bennett 2-4 2-2 6, Jack 4-9 0-0 8, Sims 0-0 0-0 0, Gee 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 29-80 17-23 76.

INDIANA (91): George 7-19 5-6 21, West 4-11 0-0 8, Hibbert 8-13 3-4 19, G.Hill 5-9 0-0 13, Stephenson 3-7 0-0 6, Granger 3-7 6-6 12, Scola 2-6 2-2 6, Watson 0-2 0-0 0, Mahinmi 2-3 2-4 6, Butler 0-0 0-0 0, Sloan 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 34-77 18-22 91.

Cleveland 25 19 22 10— 76

Indiana 23 18 24 26— 91

3-Point GoalsCleveland 1-12 (Clark 1-5, Miles 0-1, Waiters 0-2, Irving 0-2, Jack 0-2), Indiana 5-25 (G.Hill 3-6, George 2-11, Watson 0-1, Stephenson 0-3, Granger 0-4). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsCleveland 57 (Thompson 13), Indiana 47 (Scola 9). AssistsCleveland 15 (Jack 6), Indiana 22 (Stephenson 8). Total FoulsCleveland 22, Indiana 16. TechnicalsCleveland defensive three second. A18,165 (18,165).

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