Magic-Warriors Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated December 03, 2012
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The Golden State Warriors never won four straight games in coach Mark Jackson's first season. Stephen Curry and the surprising Warriors have the opportunity to accomplish the feat in year two under Jackson on Monday night when they host the Orlando Magic. Jackson's first season as an NBA coach was a difficult one as Golden State (10-6) finished with the Western Conference's third-worst record in the franchise's fourth straight losing campaign. It's been a different story in 2012-13, with his club tied with the Clippers atop the Pacific Division. "We're learning how to finish ballgames, we're learning how to execute," Jackson said. "We're learning how to value possessions, and we're learning how to defend." Curry has scored exactly 20 points in each game of this win streak, posting back-to-back double-doubles for the first time since his rookie season. He had a season-high 11 assists in Saturday's 103-92 win over Indiana. "He's playing on a level that we thought he would play at," Jackson said. "Leading his team, making plays down the stretch, defending - it's great to see." Klay Thompson has averaged 22.3 points in the last three games after he had 22 on Saturday. He's shooting 46.7 percent over his last five contests after shooting 33.3 percent over his first 11. David Lee, averaging 19.4 points on 55.4 percent shooting at home, is also sensing a different attitude. The forward is in his eighth overall season, having never played for a winning team. "We've played very well and we've had a couple great wins in a row," Lee said. "I feel like everyone is playing their role." The Warriors are also seeking their first six-game home streak since the 2006-07 season. The last time Golden State played Orlando (6-10), Dwight Howard set an NBA record with 39 free-throw attempts and had 45 points and 23 rebounds in a 117-109 road victory Jan. 12 that was the Magic's sixth in seven tries in this series. Orlando played its first game against Howard and emerged with a 113-103 road victory over the Lakers on Sunday. Arron Afflalo scored a season-high 30 points as the Magic snapped a three-game slide. "The way we lost the past three games, I'm sure our fans just wanted to see us win in general,'' said Afflalo, averaging a team-high 15.6 points. "But for us to kick-start this road trip by playing well, against the Lakers in particular, they should be proud of that. It's a huge confidence boost for us." Glen Davis had 23 points and 12 rebounds for his seventh double-double. Davis is averaging a career-high 15.3 points as he has tried to shoulder the bulk of the inside scoring load with Howard gone. "Glen was extremely focused," Afflalo said. "That was his position. He's done an amazing job all year long." Jameer Nelson had 19 points and 13 assists after nearly sitting out with tendinitis that forced him to miss Friday's 98-86 defeat against Brooklyn. The Magic are 0-2 when playing the second half of games on consecutive nights, averaging 73.5 points on 36.4 percent shooting in those defeats. The Warriors are 4-0 against Eastern Conference foes - all at home.
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