Warriors

What we learned as Warriors open homestand with win vs. Magic

Warriors

Facing a team with no healthy point guards, it looked on paper like the Warriors (14-12) would be able to stroll to a victory over the Orlando Magic (9-17). In the end they did, beating the Magic 111-105 at Chase Center .

Sure, the Warriors still don't have a true center, but they know how to play small ball. Tall ball is a whole other beast.

The first five minutes lived up to the expectations of what this game would look like. The middle portion didn't.

In the first half, the Warriors should have considered themselves lucky that they were playing the depleted Magic. If they were up against someone else, the Warriors' first half could have caused them to dig themselves into an unrecoverable hole.

How the Warriors came out in the first few minutes of the third quarter was a clear indicator of how the rest of the game would go, and it was all in Golden State's favor.

Here are three takeaways from the Warriors' second straight win.

A game of 3-point shooting

All signs pointed toward a hot shooting night for the Warriors. At least, that's how it was for the first several minutes of the game.

Steph Curry's first four baskets were all 3-pointers. The Warriors shot a franchise-record 18 triples in the first quarter. Nikola Vucevic wasn't coming out to defend the perimeter, so the Dubs fired at will.

But soon, their shooting cooled off and the Warriors played much less aggressively. They weren't trying to attack the paint, and ended up shooting just two free throws in the first half.

 

Golden State made only 11-of-31 3-pointers in the first half, with Curry going 6-of-11. The Warriors had more turnovers (nine) than made twos in the first half, knocking down six on only 15 attempts.

It felt as though the Warriors should stop heaving shots from deep, but they didn't.

Honestly, it paid off.

The Warriors finished the night shooting 40 percent from long range, and Curry knocked down 10-of-19 3-pointers. It was the 17th time in his career he made at least 10 shots from deep.

Second-half magic

The end of the first half left the Warriors scratching their heads. How were they trailing a team with no point guard?

But everything changed in the third quarter.

The Warriors regained their composure and didn't just rely on 3-pointers, getting into the paint a lot more. Of course, they kept shooting from deep, but they made them.

The Warriors ended the quarter on a 12-2 run, spearheaded by Curry's magic.

Draymond Green finally started scoring -- a must while the Warriors look for consistent contributions off the bench -- and Mychal Mulder heated up to knock down important shots.

It was the momentum boost the Warriors needed, and while the score went back and forth in the fourth, that third-quarter run gave the Warriors the energy they were missing in the first half.

In the fourth quarter, they built off what they found in the third. They didn't force or settle for shots. They played with aggression. Their defense turned up a notch.

The game was theirs.

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Turnovers still an issue

Turnovers have become a real problem for the Warriors over the last five games. Since their Texas road trip began last Thursday, the Warriors are averaging the seventh-most turnovers per game (14.8) in the NBA.

Golden State committed 17 on Thursday for 21 Orlando points. Curry was responsible for six, almost all in live-action.

The Warriors managed to heavily reduce the number of turnovers in the second half, but that ball care has to start earlier.

As the Warriors continue to find their rhythm and identity, it's key that they at least get a shot on every possession. More importantly, they cannot give away free buckets to their opponent.