NBA: Warriors shake off sleep to pummel Magic
MIAMI, United States — The Golden State Warriors shrugged off an early start to pummel the Orlando Magic 118-98 and seal their seventh consecutive victory on Sunday.
Stephen Curry led the Warriors’ scoring with 27 points, draining seven of 13 three-point attempts as the Dubs improved to 38-6.
The victory leaves the Warriors on pace to become the first team in history to win 65 games or more for three NBA seasons in a row.
Curry later admitted the Warriors had struggled to get into their usual rhythm after the 12pm (1700 GMT) start.
“It was an early start, and a challenge mentally, but it shouldn’t matter what time of day it is,” Curry said. “We want to win whenever we play. We showed how much winning means to this team.”
The Warriors conceded eight turnovers in the opening six minutes as the early start took hold.
Curry poured on 16 points of his final tally during a third quarter surge that saw Golden State race into an 18-point lead.
“It was weird,” Curry said. “We struggled early, but we left our mark in the third quarter. That’s when we were at our best.”
Klay Thompson scored 21 points while Kevin Durant weighed in with 15 points, 10 rebounds and six assists.
Draymond Green had a low-scoring game with six points but pulled down 10 rebounds.
“I needed a wakeup call today,” Green said. “It’s difficult to play this early. You could tell by the way we played at the start. But that’s the NBA, and we figured it out and got it done.”
The Warriors win was their 20th consecutive victory in which they had scored 100 points or more and extended their record of dominance over Eastern Conference teams to 14-1 this season.
Eldrid Payton led the scoring for the Magic with 23 points and 10 assists, while Bismack Biyombo (12), Nikola Vucevic and Jeff Green (12 each) also made double figures.
Orlando forward Jeff Green said the Magic had been powerless to respond during the decisive third period when the Warriors pulled clear.
“There’s not much you can do when they (Warriors) get it going like that,” Green said. “That’s why they are who they are, and get the acclaim that they do. It gets tough for any opponent playing against them.”
“There’s just no margin for error against them,” Magic coach Frank Vogel added. “The way you punch back against them is by making shots yourself. We missed too many today.” CBB