Saturday, March 12, 2011

Warriors top Magic in epic shootout

The Warriors came back from a 21 point deficit to beat the Orlando Magic in overtime. This game had a "We Believe" 2006 feel, coincidentally with Jason Richardson's return with the third different team since being traded.

The Magic got white hot in the second quarter and built a 21 point lead with exceptional perimeter shooting, but to the credit of the Warriors-who played a terrible game in New Jersey-showed heart, effort, and came back in the later part of the second quarter.

Orlando, much like the Warriors, can beat any team in the league when they heat up from three point range. Orlando neglected to feed Dwight Howard in the second half due to the success of the perimeter shooting, but also give credit to David Lee for the work he put in on defending Howard. Images throughout the telecast showed images of Howard throwing his elbows recklessly into Lee's face, chest, and throat as he established position inside. Lee made several overplays where he was able to deflect entry passes and bother Howard with quick hands.

The perimeter shooting of Orlando played into what the Warriors like to do. Teams that operate inside seem to give the Warriors more problems, but Orlando's willingness to launch three's gave Warriors players unspoken permission to answer, which they did by hitting 21 of 35.

Unfortunately the officiating was biased against the Warriors. Orlando took 35 free throw attempts to the Warriors 13, it's astounding the Warriors won this game with such a disparity. The Warriors were whistled for 23 fouls to Orlando's 13.

This is the biggest win of the year for this Warriors team, especially for the Warriors big four (Ellis, Curry, Wright, Lee). This team is capable of putting up epic shooting stats, but have looked like amateurs in recent games against the Hawks, T'Wolves, and Nets. After beating the Magic, the people who wanted to trade Ellis or Curry are quiet.

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