Golden State Warriors defeated Orlando Magic at the Oracle Arena, 116-110. Though the champs experienced one hell of resistance from the visitors, they prevailed in the last minutes of this very interesting clash.
The man of the match was without any doubts, Kevin Durant. The 2-time NBA Finals MVP scored 49 points, destroying Orlando’s defenders.
He delivered a fatal blow to the guests, who had their chance to win this event. The clock showed 1:19 to go when Durant forced a three-point play to give the lead to his team, and after that, with 22 seconds until the end, made a downtown shot, which decided everything.
— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) November 27, 2018
Still, one of the best players in the league thought that he could be even better.
“I still missed 17 shots. I tricked off a 50-piece. I felt like I had some shots that I wish I could have made last game and this game,” Durant said.
The standards are high for Durant who averages 28.2 points this season along with 7.8 rebounds and 6 assists. His 16-of-33 from the field was below the season average of .510. But one other thing could please him. He was flawless from the free throw line, 13 from 13.
“I’m trying to stay over 90 this year. Hopefully, my 3-point percentage comes up, too.”
At the moment he stands at .925 from the line.
The Orlando Magic had a 17-point lead in the middle of the third quarter. It was 76-58 for the guests, but the Warriors rallied back with a 12-2 run at the end of the same period, reaching to only 4 points away from the guests. Guys from Florida didn’t want to step back and they controlled the game until five minutes before the end when the champs finally caught up with the rival.
Klay Thompson was masterful in those critical moments. He made six straight points for getting near the Magic at the start of the last sequence, then he tied the game with 1:45 to go, finishing the night with 29 points and 6 hits from the deep.
Nikola Vucevic posted another of his usual games, with a strong double-double performance – 30 points and 12 rebounds, spiced with 6 assists. The big man from Montenegro admitted that his team couldn’t resist KD’s and Klay’s rampage in the second half.
“We obviously had a great first half, but in the second half, with Durant and Klay taking over the game, it was hard. That’s why they are such great players and that’s why they are back-to-back champions. We battled and had a chance, but we just couldn’t stop those two at the end.’’ Vucevic stated.
— Orlando Magic (@OrlandoMagic) November 27, 2018
Terrence Ross added 28 off the bench for the Magic, but that wasn’t enough. Aaron Gordon left the game sometimes after the break because of lower back issues. He didn’t return afterwards.
The Warriors didn’t have any other player besides two mentioned with double-digit scoring, with the rest of the team delivering 38 points combined.
For Durant this was the second game in a row with 40+ points, which made him the seventh player in franchise history to do that. It appears that his altercation with Draymond Green only motivated him to be even better. We ar going to see how everything goes when Green comes back on the court.
The champs are going to have another tough challenge in front of them this Thursday, when they go to Toronto, to face the Raptors, and Kawhi Leonard. It is the start of a five game road-trip around the East in which they have to meet Detroit, Hawks, Cavaliers, and the Bucks.
Orlando has three more games on their tour, against the Blazers this Wednesday, Suns on Saturday and then a state derby vs Heat in 9 days time.
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.