The Warriors tipped-off at 9 a.m., West Coast time, on Sunday when they started their game against the Orlando Magic. It was the earliest starting time for a Warriors’ game since 1995 — and it showed.
Golden State was sluggish in the first half, then did what they’ve done a lot this year — blow out an opponent in the third quarter. The Warriors used a 42-point third quarter and rode it to a 118-98 win over the Magic.
It was the Warriors’ seventh consecutive win and they raised their record to a league-best 38-6. Golden State was at its best from beyond the arc on Sunday. They shot 45.2 percent from 3-point range (19-for-42). Klay Thompson went 7-for-9 and Stephen Curry 7-for-13 from 3-point range.
–The Warriors’ sloppy start should have been somewhat predictable. Golden State left the West Coast on Thursday, then played in Houston on Friday, where they stayed overnight. Golden State committed eight turnovers in the first quarter alone and 12 in the first-half.
–Warriors coach Steve Kerr was able to keep his starters’ minutes down in this one. Draymond Green and Thompson played 33 minutes apiece, which led the team. The Warriors play the Heat in Miami on Monday.
–Kerr may have found the perfect way to utilize center JaVale McGee. With the Warriors struggling to find their game early, McGee checked into the game and gave the team a boost immediately.
McGee finished with 13 points and four rebounds in just 12 minutes. He single-handedly transformed Golden State from lethargic to wound up late in that first quarter — and then Curry and Thompson took it from there.
McGee was a plus-26 in 12 minutes.