Stephen Curry explodes for 40 points as Warriors hold off Magic

SAN FRANCISCO – Stephen Curry continued his hot scoring, knocking down 10 three-pointers on his way to 40 points while grabbing eight rebounds and five assists. That helped the Golden State Warriors 111-105 victory over the short-handed Orlando Magic. 

The win kicks off the Warriors four-game homestand on a positive note after a 2-2 record on their road trip through Texas, splitting two-game sets with the Dallas Mavericks and San Antionio Spurs.  Curry opened the game connecting on four of his first seven three-pointers to finish 10-of-19 from behind the arc. 

He would have made 11 three-pointers but one was taken away by a replay review after the third quarter.  Still, the two-time MVP has made at least four three-pointers in a career-best 13 straight games.

“I’ve got a lot of confidence getting to my spots,” Curry said.  “Guys are setting great screens and we’re getting better ball movement, collectively.  Obviously, it’s great to see shots falling.”

It was the 17th game in Curry’s career where he’s made 10 or more 3s – most in NBA history – and second this season.  Klay Thompson has five in his career and is the only player with at least five such games. 

“It is routine, which is the crazy part of it.  You just come to expect,” said Warriors head coach Steve Kerr postgame.  “These 3s that he hits when there’s nothing there, offensively and he just uses his dribble to free himself up, not exactly with a ton of space just a few inches of space, then he rises up and you expect every one of them to goes in, it’s just crazy.”

Tonight, marked the fourth straight game that Curry scored 30 or more points.  If Curry can score 30 points on Saturday against the visiting Brooklyn Nets and his former teammate Kevin Durant, it would match a career-best five-game 30-point streak that occurred from Feb 22nd thru March 3, 2016.

Curry has a legitimate case for his third MVP award this season.  If you remove Curry from the Warriors, Golden State would be trailing behind instead of competing for a playoff spot in a highly competitive Western Conference.

“The game speaks for itself,” Curry said.  “I really try not to get distracted by that because it kind of taints the moment.  If I do my job, I’ll be there at the end of the season.”

“In a way, it’s kind of unreal what he does even with two or three defenders on him,” said Andrew Wiggins on Curry. 

Wiggins added 21 points and seven rebounds.  The Warriors attempted a franchise-record 30 three-pointers in the first half, before finishing 20-of-50 from distance overall.  Kelly Oubre Jr. nailed three three-pointers and finished with 17 points and with a team-high 10 rebounds.

“The paint was really packed,” Kerr said.  “We had a hard time getting in the paint and scoring in the lane.  That’s why we launched like 30 three-pointers in the first half.”

Draymond Green continued to be Golden State’s primary ball-handler registering 11 assists to go along with eight points and six rebounds.  The 6’6”, 235-pound Green started at center for the fourth straight game in the Warriors small-ball lineup.  He joined Nikola Jokic as the only centers in the NBA to have 10 or more assists in four straight games. 

After outscoring the Magic 29-19 in the first quarter and taking a 35-22 lead on Oubre’s three-pointer at the 10:27 mark of the second quarter.  Orlando outscored Golden State 33-12 to take a 55-47 lead at halftime.

But the Warriors took over in the second half and did not look back, outscoring the Magic  64-50.

Nikola Vucevic had 25 points, 13 rebounds and five assists as Orlando lost their third straight game, seventh in eight and ninth of 11. The Magic was already missing four key players, which included forwards Aaron Gordon and Evan Fournier. 

Photo by Warriors/Twitter

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