Magic at Warriors
The Golden State Warriors are gaining confidence with every victory. One of the most surprising teams of the first month, the Warriors find themselves in a tie for first place in the Pacific Division and have won seven of their last nine games. David Lee and Stephen Curry are providing a strong inside-outside combination and Klay Thompson is rapidly improving. Trying to slow Golden State on Monday will be the visiting Orlando Magic.
The Magic are coming off an emotional victory on Sunday night, when they went into Los Angeles and pulled out a 113-103 victory over former franchise player Dwight Howard and the Lakers. Orlando exploded for 40 points in the fourth quarter in the come-from-behind win. That snapped a three-game losing streak for the Magic, who were opening a five-game road trip. The Warriors will be closing a four-game homestand and have taken five straight at Oracle Arena.
TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, Fox Sports Florida (Orlando), Comcast SportsNet Bay Area (Golden State)
ABOUT THE MAGIC (6-10): Arron Afflalo led five players in double figures with 30 points on Sunday as Orlando went over the century mark for just the second time in seven road games. The Magic have had a hard time finding a consistent go-to scoring threat without Howard around but Jameer Nelson handed out 13 assists on Sunday and the Magic recorded 34 assists on 43 made field goals. Having Nelson, who missed the previous game and has sat out seven of 16 games this season, healthy and in the lineup helps the entire offense. The Magic are 5-4 when Nelson plays.
ABOUT THE WARRIORS (10-6): Golden State has been more effective on both ends of the floor early this season and has had success playing with a small lineup, moving Lee to center and playing Curry and backup point guard Jarrett Jack at the same time. Curry picked up his second straight double-double with 20 points and 11 assists on Saturday while Jack added 18 and five in a 103-92 win over the Indiana Pacers. One beneficiary of having two ball handlers on the court has been Thompson, who can set up beyond the arc and wait for the defense to collapse around Curry slashing through the lane. Thompson has scored at least 20 points in four of the last five games.
1. Nelson has averaged 15.7 points and 5.0 assists in 13 career games against the Warriors.
2. Orlando has taken six of the last seven in the series, including a 117-109 triumph in the lone meeting last season.
3. Golden State F Richard Jefferson (calf) has missed the last six games and has yet to practice. He is doubtful for Monday.
Warriors 106, Magic 98.