Golden State shoots lights out to defeat the Magic in OT
The following post was written by Andrew Melnick of Howard the Dunk:
In one of the more unbelievable games most of us have ever seen, the Golden State Warriors used a franchise record 21 three-pointers to defeat the Magic in overtime, 122-119.
Jason Richardson led the Magic with 30 points while Monta Ellis had 39 points, 11 assists and six rebounds.
The Magic, who have had early struggles on the defensive end as of late, played very well in the first half. They held the fast-paced, high scoring Warriors to 42 first half points on just 18-of-47 shooting (38.3%). The Magic also used a 15-2 run during the second quarter, eight three-pointers and 14 made free throws to help push the lead to as large as 21. However, turnovers (10 in the first half) and a late Warriors spurt allowed them to cut the lead to 56-42 at the half.
Even after Golden State’s spurt, they still looked overmatch and you’d have figured Orlando would roll in the second half. However, the Magic went cold and continued to turn the ball over, allowing Golden State to start the second half on a 19-5 run to tie the game. Orlando’s defense fell apart, seemingly allowing three-pointer after three-pointer (mainly by Dorell Wright). All in all, Golden State hit seven three-pointers in the third quarter. After letting Golden State take the lead on another Wright three at 69-68, Orlando went on a 9-0 run to regain control of the game and take an 81-72 lead into the final quarter.
The Warriors continued to make shots from long range in the fourth quarter, staying with the Magic throughout the period. Carless turnovers helped give the Warriors a 95-94 lead with just 2:18 to play on Wright’s sixth three-pointer. Stephen Curry hit another three on Golden State’s next possession to put them up four with 1:23 to go, capping an 8-0 run. Trailing by three with just 43.4 seconds left, Jameer Nelson couldn’t finish on a layup but on the following possession, Ellis threw the ball away and Hedo Turkoglu made him pay, hitting a three to tie the game at 101 with 8.3 seconds left. The Warriors had another pass deflected and Nelson came up with it to send the game to overtime.
Trailing by three in overtime, Jason Richardson was fouled shooting a three-pointer but was only able to make one of the three free throws. Nelson stole the in-bounds pass, hit a layup but was called for a charge and two Monta Ellis free throws put Golden State up four. Jason Richardson answered with a three-pointer to cut the lead to one with 11.9 seconds to go. Stephen Curry hit two more free throws, giving Orlando the ball down three with 11.2 seconds left. Both Turkoglu and Jason Richardson missed three-pointers on the last possession, giving Golden State the win.
I’ve never seen a shooting performance like that from both sides but especially by the Warriors. After making just four three-pointers in the first quarter, they threatened to challenge Orlando’s record of 23 three-pointers in the game. For a while, they just literally couldn’t miss. Dorell Wright, who finished with 32 points, was 8-of-11 from beyond the arc while Monta Ellis was 7-of-9. They combined to go 15-of-20!
The Magic were very good as well, going 15-of-32 from beyond the arc led by Jason Richardson’s seven three-pointers.
The two teams set a league record by hitting 36 combined three-pointers.
Ellis also impressively went the whole way, playing all 53 minutes.
Hedo Turkoglu had his best offensive game in a Magic uniform (this time around), which included his huge three-pointer that sent the game to overtime. He did a better job of creating for his teammates and really had his shooting stroke, finishing with 24 points on 9-of-15 shooting.
Jameer Nelson turned it up in the fourth quarter again, hitting several key jumpers. He finished with a packed stat line – 24 points, eight assists, five rebounds, two steals and five turnovers.
Although no team should ever be expected to shoot the way Golden State did Friday night (because, frankly, it’s really hard to picture any team shooting like that), Orlando’s perimeter defense still struggled in the second half, allowing 71 points to the Warriors wings.
To be fair, if the Warriors shot anywhere near their normal percentage from beyond the arc, this wouldn’t have even been a game.
Turnovers, which have been a huge issue all season, were again on Friday. Orlando turned the ball over 18 points, resulting in 27 Golden State points. Careless turnovers are the ones that hurt the most. Ryan Anderson, Dwight Howard and Turkoglu all had balls that they threw completely away when looking for open shooters.
Speaking of Howard, it was a quiet night for him. He had just 13 points on 4-of-9 shooting and went just 5-of-10 from the free throw line. He did have 21 rebounds, four assists and two blocks but this game became to perimeter oriented. The Warriors swarmed to Howard and the Magic needed Turkoglu and especially Nelson, to make plays while Jason Richardson hit shots. The Magic did that but they just could not get shots.
Next Up: The Magic head to Phoenix to face Vince Carter, Marcin Gortat, Mickael Pietrus and the Suns Sunday afternoon.
Final Thought: That was one of the wildest games you’ll ever see.