Shorthanded Warriors make it look easy, beat Orlando 103-89

By Gabe Schapiro

No Andrew Bogut or Andre Iguodala? No problem. The Golden State Warriors (43-26) didn’t skip a beat despite two of their starters being out with injuries, easily beating the Orlando Magic (19-49) 103-89, Tuesday night, at Oracle Arena. Orlando has struggled mightily this season, but when Bogut and Iguodala were ruled out, the defensive backbones of the team, there is no doubt that it had some nervous for this one. Those concerns were fairly quickly put to rest, however, as all three of Golden State’s other starters picked up the slack. After the first quarter, this contest was rarely ever in any doubt.

The game started as a bit of a dogfight, in a tightly played opening frame that saw 13 lead changes. After 12 minutes the Warriors exited from the fray with a slim three-point advantage. There wouldn’t be another lead change the rest of the way.

Golden State slowly started pulling away from the Magic, and really slammed the door shut in a big third quarter, which saw them outscore Orlando 30-19.  The end of the bench saw some action late, as they eased to the victory.

It was nearly all good signs from the Dubs on this night. It was 14 minutes into the contest before they committed their first turnover. It was the third quarter before they missed their first free throw.

The three normal Warriors starters who did play in this one all had very strong games. Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and David Lee finished with 23, 20, and 20 points respectively. Lee finished with a double-double, adding 10 rebounds to his line. Draymond Green and Harrison Barnes got the starting nod in the place of their injured stars, and while both struggled offensively, they chipped in in other ways. Green hauled in nine boards, dished out three assists, and had two steals. Barnes had five rebounds and three assists.

Golden State’s bench, which saw a little extra play tonight, had a strong game as well, particularly Mareese Speights and Steve Blake. Speights hasn’t played much recently, but clearly came in ready to go. He contributed 13 points, eight rebounds, and a block in 23 minutes. Blake also put up double-digit points, finishing with 12 to go along with four assists.

In the loss five Orlando players finished in double figures. Nikola Vucevic led the way with a team-high 15 points. Tobias Harris performed admirably off the bench, adding 14 points and a team-high six rebounds. Their backcourt really struggled, combining for just eight points.

The Warriors have now won two straight, and will look to make it three this Thursday, when they will be taking on the Milwaukee Bucks. The game starts at 7:30 PM, at Oracle Arena.

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