Golden State Warriors

Warriors play ‘stagnant’ basketball late, blow 13-point lead to Magic

What do three wins in a row look like? I forget.

Golden State had opportunity to win its third straight game for the first time this season on Friday night, but lost to the Magic, 124-120. The Warriors climbed back into the game from down 17 points to take a 13 point lead in the fourth quarter, but an avalanche of Magic points did them in, aided by poor play from coach Steve Kerr’s crew.

It was the bench that created the separation, after Steph Curry and Draymond Green sat to start the fourth quarter. leaving the floor with a one-point lead. But Golden State was outscored 31-14 after the 8:23 mark of the final period.

According to Anthony Slater of The Athletic, reserve Juan Toscano-Anderson thought the team got “stagnant” after amassing the surprising lead.

“It’s a natural reaction, at least for me, to get excited when you go up 10 from down 17,” Toscano-Anderson said. “At least for me. Then we got a little stagnant.”

The Athletic

That might sound a bit questionable coming from an inexperienced reserve, but Kerr essentially agreed. Here’s what he said about the missed opportunity.

“I thought we broke through in the third quarter, early in the fourth quarter, ball was moving like crazy,” Kerr said. “I’ll have to watch the tape, but it seemed to me like the last five minutes, it was one pass and a shot. We stopped doing what got us the lead. When you do that and you give up hoops at the other end, the whole game shifts.”

The Athletic

It was a frustrating loss for the club, with a lot of lost emotional energy. I thought they looked fantastic for much of the game, but the Magic played about as well as they could. And in the end, a couple turnovers by Golden State were a factor, too, including a big one from Curry.

Plus, Curry had another lackluster performance overall, and missed a crucial clutch shot badly late in the game. Not that his percentage was as bad as it was in the win against Miami, but Curry was a volume shooter, which is rare for him. He hit 11-of-29 shots, making 6-of-16 from distance for 29 points and 11 assists. I know, great totals, but a few more timely shots from Golden State’s star, and they could have pulled it out.

Perhaps he was thinking ahead to his Charlotte homecoming on Saturday night? He’s a pro, but maybe he was, at least a little bit. Will Curry rebound and light it up against LaMelo Ball and the Hornets, starting a potential win streak in the process? We’ll see. On the way out the door, here are the Warriors stats for the game. Note the spectacular line from guard Kelly Oubre Jr.

(Photo credit: Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports)

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