The Golden State Warriors got their two MVPs back on Wednesday but still needed overtime to win the opener of a six-game road trip. The Warriors will try to take care of things before the end of regulation when the trip hits the east coast with a visit to the Orlando Magic on Friday.
The banged-up defending champions are staring at a stretch of three games in four days in three different cities and declared Stephen Curry (hand), Kevin Durant (ankle), Andre Iguodala (knee) and David West (knee) all probable for Friday’s tilt against the Magic while Klay Thompson (ankle) is questionable. All but West were available for the opener of the trip at the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday, and Curry, Durant and Thompson combined for 77 points in the 127-123 overtime triumph. The Magic ended a nine-game slide with a 121-108 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday and were happy to get out of the funk. “There’s no getting around that — it’s a relief to get around that part of it (the losing streak) and to get a W and understand that we’ve said repeatedly throughout this that we’ve got a good team and we’ve just got to play a complete game,” Orlando coach Frank Vogel told reporters. “And now our assignment is to do it again.”
TV: 7 p.m. ET, NBCS Bay Area (Golden State), FS Florida (Orlando)
ABOUT THE WARRIORS (16-6): Golden State leads the NBA in scoring (117.3 points) and is among the leaders in field-goal percentage defense (.434) but still doesn’t seem to be playing in its top gear on a consistent basis. “I didn’t think we competed tonight,” coach Steve Kerr told reporters after Wednesday’s victory. “I don’t think we’ve really competed that well all year. It’s just the way it is right now.” Curry is dealing with a painful injury to the ring finger on his right hand and was just 6-of-17 from the field through the first four quarters on Wednesday before knocking down a pair of 3-pointers in overtime and scoring 13 of his 28 points in the final five minutes.
ABOUT THE MAGIC (9-13): Power forward Aaron Gordon exploded for 40 points and 15 rebounds in Wednesday’s win. The 22-year-old is shooting 51 percent from the floor on the season and is 12-of-23 from 3-point range over his last three games. “He’s just hungry, he wants to prove himself so much,” veteran Arron Afflalo told the team’s website of Gordon. “It’s just about tempering your ego, tempering your self-motivation to make sure that everything works within the group. When he plays within the confines of the offense and with the team, he’s unbelievable. He’s got a high motor, very athletic and very skilled around the entire floor. He’s going to be a great player.”
1. Orlando SF Terrence Ross is out indefinitely due to a sprained MCL and a non-displaced fracture in his right leg.
2. Thompson made at least four 3-pointers in each of the last four games.
3. Golden State took the last nine in the series, including a 110-100 home win on Nov. 13.
PREDICTION: Warriors 123, Magic 105