Kelley L. Cox/USA TODAY
The Magic's loss to the Warriors went according to a familiar and not unexpected formula.
A scrappy Orlando team played a Playoff-bound team tight on the road, getting their attention before halftime. Then out of the locker room, the Playoff-bound team upped the execution and intensity and mistakes from the young Orlando team compounded and made things worse.
The Magic's offense was never going to keep pace with the Warriors. Golden State has too much firepower with Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. And the Warriors defense can be very good. At least good enough to give the offense the breathing room to make games feel comfortable.
The Warriors burned off 18 unanswered points early in the third quarter — part of a 20-2 run to start the quarter and a 30-19 third quarter — to put the Magic away. Orlando, down by as much as 24 points, got to within 11 points but no closer. The fight was there, but the ability to slow down the "Splash Brothers" was not in Golden State's 103-89 win over Orlando at ORACLE Arena on Tuesday night.
Thompson and Curry combined for 23 of the 30 points the Warriors scored in the third quarter on 7-for-10 shooting and 5-for-6 shooting from beyond the arc. It was exactly what a defense cannot do against Golden State. The Warriors were able to get points in transition and secondary break with Curry and Thompson spotting up for three. Golden State was able to force the Magic to help and leave the shooters and they do not need much space to score.
The Magic's offense was as much to blame as the defense in the third quarter. Orlando made only 5 of its 20 shots in the third quarter and committed four turnovers leading to two Golden State points. Those were a lot of missed opportunities.
Some of that is a product of the Warriors ratcheting up the defense. Another part was the lack of ball movement. Orlando had 16 assists in the first quarter and did a good job penetrating the lane and finding open shooters. The interior passing from Kyle O'Quinn and Maurice Harkless was noticeable.
Orlando was not getting to the line in the second and third quarters as Golden State pulled away. With little defense being played — both teams shot better than 50 percent — something had to give eventually. The Magic would not be able to keep up that pace.
That was the predictable part.
Orlando settled for more midrange jumpers in the second half and that ended some of the ball movement that helped Orlando have a chance in the first 24 minutes. There was no keeping up with the Warriors once they got rolling and the Magic never quite regained their footing offensively.
There were several solid performances, but none that occurred when the team needed it. NIkola Vucevic led the team with 15 points and five rebounds. Tobias Harris had 14 points and six rebounds. Maurice Harkless scored 12 points, including the highlight of the night when he spun past Draymond Green and dunked with two hands.
The Magic just could not get that last little oomph to make a run. Every time they seemed about ready to get back into the game or they got one of those critical stops, they turned the ball over or gave up an offensive rebound. Marreese Speights was especially active in the second quarter to help the Warriors build the lead.
Once that lead was built, it was going to be difficult for the Magic to come back without all their horses playing their best. Orlando could not string enough positive plays to make a serious run.
Unfortunately, this feels all too common.