What we learned as Steph, Wiggs rain 3-pointers in Dubs’ win originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
SAN FRANCISCO — The Warriors had a renewed energy in their game against the Orlando Magic at Chase Center on Monday night.
The three games before — a two-game mini-series against the Phoenix Suns that lead into a back-to-back game against the San Antonio Spurs — had wiped them out. But after an off-day on Sunday, the Warriors had their legs back.
And they gave it all to the Magic, beating Orlando 126-95.
Maybe it took about five minutes for the Warriors (20-4) to find their groove, but once they did there was no looking back.
Here are three takeaways from Golden State’s dominant night:
Wiggs the sharp-shooter
I’ll be the first to say that a rim-attacking Andrew Wiggins is the best version of Wiggins. But against the Magic, he had it going from beyond the arc — and he was hunting his shot.
Wiggins knocked down a career-high eight 3-pointers while going for 9-for-15 from the field overall.
Monday’s performance bumped Wiggins’ season 3-point percentage to 41.6 percent — another career-high. He has never shot better than 38 percent.
Steph closing in on history
Every time Steph Curry hit a 3-pointer, a little icon popped up in the bottom left corner of the jumbotron counting down the number of threes Curry has to hit to break Ray Allen’s record for most career 3-pointers made.
Curry hit seven threes on Monday, and each time the number in the icon got lower and lower. By the end of the night, it read 16 needed to pass Allen.
Curry’s seven made threes, and 8-of-16 overall shooting from the floor, lead him to 31 points, and he also added three rebounds, eight assists and two steals.
It’s fair to expect Curry to make NBA history in the next two games … or on Wednesday if he wants to take down Allen’s career record and Klay Thompson’s record for most three’s in a single game (14) in one night.
Bjelica’s burst off the bench
Early on, Nemanja Bjelica was the guy to give the Warriors the burst they needed while they got their footing in the game. And throughout the night, he was one of the few players to give the Warriors anything off the bench.
In his 11 minutes, Bjelica finished with 10 points on 4-of-5 shooting, including 2-of-3 from three. He was the only player off the bench to score double-figures.
Recently, Bjelica has fallen victim to the Warriors’ depth — he has still been getting consistent playing time, but not for as long of spurts.
And as his minutes have decreased, so has his scoring prowess. But he got it back on Monday against the Magic. The confidence with which Bjelica shot the ball is the exact reason why the Warriors wanted to bring him out to San Francisco.
Yes, since he has arrived, he has proven to be a good facilitator and another bigger body who can play small-ball center, but first and foremost they wanted him to be a floor-spreader. So he can’t be hesitant to let it fly. He does it well, and it’s a skill set that helps the Warriors immensely.