The Warriors once again fell behind early and spent much of the night trailing. And once again, they went on a rampage they seem ready to patent.
It wasn’t enough.
Despite a searing third quarter, during which they outscored the Magic by 14 points, the Warriors gave it back late and took a 124-120 loss Friday night at Amway Center in Orlando.
Stephen Curry, Kelly Oubre Jr. and Andrew Wiggins combined to score 71 points, but the Warriors (16-14) failed yet again to register their first three-game win streak this season.
Here are three takeaways from a night that will haunt them:
Wings of Jayhawk fuel third-quarter magic
Oubre and Wiggins, both of whom attended the University of Kansas, were at the center of third-quarter surge that erased a 17-point deficit and gave the Warriors a one-point lead entering the fourth.
Oubre scored 13 points in the quarter on 6-of-10 shooting, including 1-of-3 from distance. He was aggressive at both ends, and that had a clear impact on his teammates. He finished with 26 points, scoring in double figures for the 11th consecutive game.
Wiggins was even more efficient, scoring 12 points on 5-of-5 shooting, while also recording a couple assists in the quarter. He totaled 16 points and has reached double figures in all 30 games this season.
The Warriors scored 43 points in the quarter – their most productive of the season – and appeared to take command before fading down the stretch.
Foot off the gas?
The Warriors took a one-point lead into the fourth quarter, and the second unit increased the margin to 13 (106-93) on a three-point play by Brad Wanamaker with 8:50 remaining.
The Magic, however, did not roll over. To the contrary, they muscled up.
Orlando quickly got back within four (108-104, 6:29 left), and maintained the pressure as the Warriors went cold. The Magic went on a 15-2 run and closed the game with an 18-8 run that sent Golden State into the locker room with a loss.
The Warriors during the final five minutes shot 3-of-10 from the field – including their last three shots – while committing a pair of turnovers.
Clobbered on the glass, again
The Warriors were bit once again by the challenge that won’t go away. Rebounding.
The Magic had a substantial size advantage and exploited it early, crashing the offensive glass to score six of their first eight points on second-chance 3-pointers. They outrebounded Golden State 29-18 in the first half, while outscoring them 12-0 in second-chance points.
For the game, the Warriors were outrebounded 51-45 and scored only four second-chance points, to 17 for Orlando.
The Warriors have been outrebounded in 21 of their 30 games – and by double figures in eight/nine of those games. Size is an issue, and the arc of this season suggests it will remain so even after 7-foot James Wiseman and 6-foot-9 Kevon Looney return next week.