I’m not quite sure what Keith Smart says to his team at halftime, but he’d be better off keeping quiet, because whatever he is saying isn’t working. For the 2nd straight game, the Warriors went into the break with a nice lead, and then in the 3rd quarter, within a matter of what seems like just seconds, the lead is gone, and the game is over.
Tonight, in Orlando, Golden State led 53-44 at the half, and trailed by eight after three before falling 110-90 to the Magic. The nine point lead lasted about 14 seconds into the 3rd quarter. And the worst part of it was, you could see it coming from as far away as the top of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle.
Playing without David Lee (who sat out with a bad A. back B. elbow C ankle D all of the above–D is the correct answer for those playing at home) the Warriors got some inspired play from rookie Ekpe Udoh and Brandan Wright, who actually played for the first time since around Halloween. The two combined for 13 points and 10 boards, mostly in the 2nd quarter when Golden State held Orlando to 20 points in building the halftime lead.
The Magic quickly made all of that disappear, tying the game just 2:38 after intermission by scoring the first nine points. G’State responded, and actually took a six-point lead a couple of minutes later when Dorell Wright nailed a 3-pointer to make it 62-56. Orlando responded with a run of their own, and when Jameer Nelson drained one from beyond the arc, Orlando led 67-65. They would never trail again. When former Warrior Gilbert Arenas hit a three of his own to end the quarter, Orlando led 79-71.
From there it got out of control in a hurry. Arenas hit a jumper to start the quarter, and when former Cal star Ryan Anderson rattled home a three, the deficit was suddenly 13, and the game was quickly out of reach. Orlando hit 12 of 21 3’s in the 2nd half en route to 66 points.
Hedo Turkoglu scored 10 points and had 14 boards and 10 assists for a triple-double and Dwight Howard had his way with the smaller Warriors lineup to the tune of 22 points and 17 rebounds.
The Warriors leave the “Happiest Place on Earth“ in a pretty foul mood and are now 1-3 on this five game trip. If they can just get Coach Smart to quit yapping at halftime, maybe they can recover in New Orleans.
About the Author
Written by Scott Johnston
Scott Johnston is a longtime Sports TV Producer/Writer from Los Angeles who now lives just outside of Boston. After a long career at KCAL-TV in L.A., where Scott covered such things as Kirk Gibson’s HR, Hank Gathers death, and Magic Johnson’s retirement, NBA ll-Star Game MVP performance and subsequent return to the NBA. His favorite team is the Oakland A’s and whomever happens to be playing the Yankees, USC or the Cowboys on that particular day. Scott left his staff position at KCAL and formed his own small production company in 1996 while continuing to freelance there and at other stations, including WTTG in DC for two years. His company, ProTVSports, started out covering one team during Spring Training in 1997 but now covers six of the Cactus League teams. He also covers tennis and golf events during the year and has had the privilege of covering 5 NBA Finals, including two of the last three. Scott loves all sports, but considers baseball to be his favorite. He loves politcs, reading, movies and his wife and two daughters—not in that order!