What we learned as Steph drops 36 points in Warriors’ bounce-back win originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area
SAN FRANCISCO — It was far from perfect, and Steve Kerr and his staff will have plenty to correct in practice. But the Warriors did just enough to end their three-game losing streak with a 121-115 win over the Orlando Magic on Tuesday night at Chase Center.
Stephen Curry scored 19 of his 36 points in the first half, and then made a clutch driving layup in the final minutes of regulation to help secure the win. He thought he had a chance at more when he appeared to get fouled with 7.2 seconds remaining but there was no call and Golden State wound up earning a delay of game penalty. The two-time NBA scoring champ also had six assists, four steals and one block.
Jonathan Kuminga had 19 points and six rebounds for the Warriors, who have won 10 of their last 11 home games against the Magic. The 21-year-old has scored in double figures in each of his last 13 games.
The win, Golden State’s first at home since Dec. 23, kept the Warriors (16-17) from falling three games below .500 for the second time this season.
Steph makes his own way
Steve Kerr has hoped that starting Paul would free up Curry for more shots off the ball. It didn’t exactly work out that way, as Curry took just three shots with the starters but immediately began attacking and playing more aggressively after the first round of substitutions.
That pattern continued even when Paul came back in, as Curry remained in attack mode and showed that he is still more than capable of creating his own shot. Orlando didn’t double-team him as much as the Miami Heat and Dallas Mavericks did, so it made obvious sense for him to drive the lane as often as he could.
In the second half Curry was back to his usual self, nailing big shot after big shot from beyond the arc. He finished 12 of 20 with four 3-pointers on nine attempts.
Losing on the boards
The Warriors entered the game as the NBA’s top overall rebounding team, and they were No. 1 in offensive rebounds as well. But Orlando turned the tables and controlled mostly everything down low. The Magic held a 41-36 rebounding advantage and held a 16-9 edge on the offensive glass.
Some of the Warriors’ recent problems on offense have been somewhat negated by how well the team has done rebounding but that wasn’t something they were able to do against the bigger Magic.
GP2 leaves with injury
Gary Payton sustained left hamstring strain in his second game back since missing a month with a calf injury. Payton was defending down low underneath the Orlando basket when he got hurt. He walked gingerly and grimaced before ripping off his headband and throwing it into the crowd as he walked into the locker room.
It’s unclear how severe Payton’s injury is, but the Warriors can ill afford to lose him for very long. Golden State’s biggest issue this season has been an overall lack of cohesiveness on defense.
That’s Payton’s specialty so they need him to heal as quickly as possible.
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