Sunday, March 7

Energized magic ready for revenge against exhausted warriors


The Orlando Magic will offer a different look, fresher legs and a bit of momentum when they have a rematch with the visiting Golden State Warriors on Friday night.

The Magic were on a two-game losing streak, coming off a tough loss in Portland and without several key players when they battled the Warriors before running out of gas at the end of a 111-105 loss in San Francisco on Thursday. last.

This time around, they will play for the second time in a four-game home stay, having beaten the New York Knicks 107-89 on Wednesday night.

Four guys who didn’t meet the Warriors last week – Evan Fournier (19), Michael Carter-Williams (six), Al-Farouq Aminu (three) and Chasson Randle (two) – combined for 30 points in the win. the Knicks. The 18-point margin of victory was Orlando’s second-largest of the season.

Fournier had missed the previous five games, and 14 of 23, before putting up 31 minutes against the Knicks. He still considers himself “day to day” due to the unpredictability of back spasms.

“I really don’t know how to explain to you what I’m dealing with,” he said. “When it comes to a finger or a joint, you know how long you’re going to be out and what the rehab process is like. The back is tricky because sometimes you feel good and sometimes you don’t. I’m in a difficult situation, to be honest. “

Nikola Vucevic provided his usual double-double against New York with 16 points and 16 rebounds. He was even more productive against the height-challenged Warriors last week, with 25 points and 13 rebounds.

The Warriors headed east for the start of a four-game road trip Friday still without their three injured centers: James Wiseman, Kevon Looney and Marquese Chriss. They hope to have one (probably Looney) and possibly two (Wiseman) back at the end of the trip.

Golden State could be even smaller in the rematch, with the possibility that Draymond Green could not play. He missed Wednesday’s 120-112 home win in overtime over Miami with a sore ankle.

The Warriors were able to overtake the Heat despite one of Stephen Curry’s worst shooting nights of the season. Having hit at least half of his shots in 10 consecutive games, he hit only 8 of 25 total and 5 of 20 on 3s on a 25-point night.

The Warriors posted unusually balanced scores against the Heat, with Kent Bazemore contributing 26 points, the best of the season, while Andrew Wiggins and Kelly Oubre Jr. each had 23.

Counting Curry, the quartet also managed to grab 31 rebounds, helping Golden State minimize the impact of Miami’s big star man, Bam Adebayo.

“Big, big win,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said later. “The guys played really hard. In the second half, we did a great job bouncing the ball, we kept them off the foul line and our defense really bounced back. A great win.

“We haven’t won three in a row all year, so we had a chance in Orlando to start this journey.”

The Warriors have won two in a row for the seventh time this season. They lost the next game on each of the previous six occasions.

Curry had 40 points, hitting 14 of 26 overall and 10 of 19 on 3s, in Golden State’s win over Orlando last week.

–Field level media



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