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sport / / NBCSBA: Warriors respond to ‘tough circumstances' with huge win vs. Magic

o NBCSBA: Warriors respond to ‘tough circumstances' with huge win vs. MagicRobin Miller

NBCSBA: Warriors respond to ‘tough circumstances' with huge win vs. Magic


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From: robin.mi...@invalid.invalid (Robin Miller)
Subject: NBCSBA:_Warriors_respond_to_‘tough_circumstances'
Date: Thu, 28 Mar 2024 00:59:50 -0400
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 by: Robin Miller - Thu, 28 Mar 2024 04:59 UTC

Warriors respond to ‘tough circumstances' with huge win vs. Magic

By Michael Wagaman

• Published 1 hour ago

It’s no secret that the Warriors have lost many games this season that
they could and probably should have won. In Orlando on Wednesday, the
Warriors went the opposite direction and pulled out a critical 101-93
victory in a game that had all the makings of another loss.

Golden State entered the game missing one of its top play-makers.
Jonathan Kuminga’s cranky left knee acted up again and kept the
high-flyer sidelined, robbing the Warriors of arguably their most
consistent scorer of the 2023-24 season.

Then Draymond Green got ejected less than four minutes into the first
quarter, causing a wave of panic to ripple across Dub Nation.

Playing one of the top teams in the East without two of their most
dependable and productive players would have been enough to cripple
Golden State on most nights.

Instead, the Warriors responded with one of their biggest and most
critical victories of the season while maintaining their slim hold on
the No. 10 spot in the Western Conference.

“It was a gutsy effort in tough circumstances,” Kerr told reporters at
the Kia Center. “Obviously we need every game we can get right now. I’m
just proud of the guys for stepping up. We had guys step up and that’s
what it takes.”

Golden State is in the position it’s in right now because of its
inability to close games out. On multiple nights the Warriors have blown
fourth-quarter leads or allowed inferior teams to get the upper hand.

Just in the month of March, there have been a handful of games that the
Dubs appeared to be in line for a W only to end up with an L. Losses to
the Chicago Bulls and San Antonio Spurs quickly come to mind.

They also dropped games to the Knicks, Pacers and Timberwolves – all
three teams with better records than the Warriors but games that Golden
State had chances to win had they received better efforts across the board.

That’s why beating Orlando is so significant.

The Magic have the fifth-best record in the East and already had a size
advantage over the smaller Warriors even before Kuminga was ruled out.
When Green got tossed after getting hit with a pair of technical fouls,
the uphill climb got a lot steeper.

Yet instead of folding up shop the Warriors got serious and went to
work, getting significant production from starters like Andrew Wiggins
and key players off the bench like Moses Moody, Gary Payton II and
rookie Brandin Podziemski.

“We’re trying to win every game, like we should,” Moody said. “Every
game we have left on the schedule is very winnable. So given that’s the
case, (we’re) just taking the necessary precautions rather than looking
backwards, looking forward.”

The Warriors made it happen against the Magic following the same type of
plan that they had while beating the Heat a night earlier – with an
active, hustling defense and timely play-making in clutch moments.

The victory over Orlando was even sweeter considering what happened with
Green. It was his fourth ejection of the 2023-24 season and at the time
looked like a serious gut-punch. Stephen Curry appeared flabbergasted by
the incident and looked quite emotional in the aftermath.

But the Warriors actually came back a lot stronger after Green’s
ejection. They closed the first quarter on a 21-5 run, weathered a few
comeback attempts by the Magic then made plays at the end to secure the

“Guys are just playing really, really hard,” Kerr said. “We’re competing
really well, we’re doing a good job of taking care of the ball and
defending without fouling. For the most part, we’re giving ourselves a
chance by rebounding well, taking care of the ball and defending really,
really hard and just trying to find enough points to win.”

The sweep of the Florida teams is nice, no doubt, but the inconsistent
Warriors must back it up and finish their five-game road trip strong to
make it all count.

It’s the same challenge that the Warriors have faced most of the year.
Get a good win and follow it up with more good wins.

They stole one against the Magic and may have to do it again over their
final 10 games, but at least there’s still a glimmer of hope.

“We’re obviously a team that can compete with anybody and lose to
anybody,” Kerr said. “But it’s kind of where the league is these days,
other than a handful of teams. You got a ton of teams in the league
going for it with very few teams that are at the bottom.

“We’re hoping that we can keep this thing going and close out the season
with some more wins like this and put ourselves in a good spot.”

sport / / NBCSBA: Warriors respond to ‘tough circumstances' with huge win vs. Magic


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