OAKLAND, Calif. -- For a team with eight 30-point wins already this season, the Golden State Warriors sure embraced their ninth Thursday night. Klay Thompson exploded for 21 of his game-high 29 points in the first quarter as the Warriors ran away from the Orlando Magic early en route to a 122-92 victory. The one-sided win did more than just clinch Golden State's third consecutive Pacific Division title. For one night anyway, it made them forget how much they have struggled since star Kevin Durant injured his knee. "It felt good to have a big margin of victory," Thompson said, "because we haven't had one of those in a while." Stephen Curry added 25 points as the Warriors (54-14) shot 57.5 percent while recording a season-series sweep of Orlando and an eighth straight win overall against the Magic. The Warriors hadn't posted a 30-point win since early February. In fact, counting the game at Washington on Feb. 28 in which Durant got hurt, they were outscored by a total of 30 points in their previous eight games. "We just needed to play well," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said of the importance of the blowout win. "I just kinda expected this. This week we thought we could get back on track." The loss was the Magic's sixth this season by 30 or more points. "We didn't do a good job early on to make it tough for them, and (we) kind of let them play their game. They're good at that," said Magic center Nikola Vucevic, who had 10 points and eight rebounds in the loss. "If you don't make it tough on them and you let them get whatever they want, then you don't have a chance." After needing to rally from a 16-point deficit to scratch out a 106-104 home win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday, the Warriors left no doubt in the middle game of their five-day homestand, burying the Magic with a 12-2, game-opening run. Thompson had eight points, including two 3-pointers, in the flurry, during which the Magic shot 1 of 10 from the floor while committing two turnovers and missing two free throws. Golden State went on to lead by as many as 21 in the period and 28 in the second quarter before coasting home. "To have a game like that always helps," said Warriors forward Draymond Green, who contributed a game-high 11 rebounds along with nine points and six assists to the win. "We looked like a completely different team." Thompson finished 12 of 20 from the field, including 5 of 9 from 3-point range. As a team, the Warriors made 10 of their 26 3-point tries (38.5 percent). Curry added a pair of 3-pointers during an 8-of-15 shooting performance on a night when he also recorded the 1,000th steal of his career in the game's ninth minute. Andre Iguodala had 14 points off the bench, 10 coming on dunks, and Zaza Pachulia notched a 10-point, 10-rebound double-double for the Warriors, who moved 1 1/2 games up on the San Antonio Spurs (52-15) for the best record in the NBA. Elfrid Payton and backup Jeff Green had 13 points apiece and Evan Fournier scored 12 for Orlando, which completes a back-to-back Friday night at Phoenix. The Magic (24-45), who have lost four in a row overall, haven't won a road game since Feb. 13. "It's unacceptable how we played tonight," Magic coach Frank Vogel said. "We've got to pick ourselves up and try to win the game (against the Suns). We didn't come to play against the best team in the NBA in their building, and everything was poor." Backup big man Bismack Biyombo had a team-high 10 rebounds for the Magic, who outrebounded the Warriors 49-47. NOTES: The Warriors won a third straight Pacific Division title for the first time in franchise history. ... Warriors PG Stephen Curry had three steals to increase his career total to 1,002, the second most in Warriors history behind SF Chris Mullin (1,360). ... Despite the loss and a fourth consecutive season-series sweep, the Magic retained a 30-26 lead over the Warriors in the all-time series. ... On reaching the 500-game milestone as an NBA coach, Orlando's Frank Vogel said before the game, "Hopefully I can hang around 500 more."
Thompson, Warriors shoot past Magic
The Sports Xchange | Mar 17