ORACLE ARENA — The Magic knew exactly what to expect coming into Tuesday’s matchup against the Warriors and made the game a dogfight down to the final seconds.
It took the Splash Brothers catching fire in the final moments and a Stephen Curry three with 2.2 seconds left to give the Warriors their tenth consecutive win, with a 98-97 victory over the Magic.
Photos by Scot Tucker/SFBay
Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said when he saw Curry with the ball in the final seconds, he knew his point guard would make the right play:
“I was thinking ‘don’t call time out.’ Because Steph Curry in the open floor is going to get a better shot than anything we’re going to be able to draw up. I figured he would shoot a three, it what Steph does. He bailed us out.”
On Wednesday, Orlando fell prey to the Warriors as a part of Golden State’s five-game road sweep, becoming just another victim of a 14-2 start.
Orlando surged in the first 19 minutes of the game behind a slashing performance from Victor Oladipo (27 points). Golden State dug its heels with an 18-4 run to close the half that saw five different Warriors score en route to a 56-46 lead.
The Magic came out of halftime with resolve and grit, eating away at the Warriors advantage before retaking the lead at 71-69 with 1:57 left in the third quarter.
Orlando clung to their lead until Klay Thompson and Curry hit alternating treys in the final four minutes of play, with Curry capping off the win on a three in the game’s final seconds.
Curry said he knew they still had a chance in the final minutes but didn’t know how it would play out:
“It was just one of those nights from the start. They were shooting the ball well, putting a lot of pressure on us and with four and half minutes left you look up and realize you still have the time to turn the game around if you make a couple shots and get a couple stops.”
Three big shots and three crucial stop later, the Warriors squeaked out of potentially losing a game that should have been easily won.
Kerr found it hard to be satisfied with the final result:
“We kind of messed around with the ball early and when you mess around with a game there’s a karma involved. The game will get you back. We were really lucky to win that game. Steph came up big, Klay hit a couple big threes…but we’ve got to do it as a group instead of individually.”