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Curry, Wiggins rain 3’s on Magic in 31-point Monday night flex

If you watched the first three minutes of Monday’s Warriors game against the Magic, you might have thought you were in a Groundhog Day-style time loop: A bottom-feeding team jumping out to a double-digit lead seemed eerily reminiscent of Saturday’s loss to San Antonio.

The key difference is that the Warriors immediately recovered and, by the end of the first quarter were up by five. Golden State (20-4) never looked back and ran the Magic (5-20) off the floor, 126-95.

Stephen Curry and Andrew Wiggins led the way, pouring in a combined 15 3’s. Surprisingly, it was actually Wiggins who came out on top of the head-to-head numbers with a career-high eight 3’s.

This story will be updated with quotes and post-game material from the Warriors locker room at Chase Center.

Wiggins is shooting 38 percent from deep this season and Steve Kerr said he’s made some adjustments to his game to reach that:

The biggest thing I’m seeing from Andrew is he’s just catching and shooting. He’s always been a pretty good 3-point shooter, but maybe more a little bit off the dribble. And the thing I think he’s really gotten better with is when he’s open, he’s just catching and shooting.”

Wiggins was in desperate need of a breakout game as he had been in a mini slump recently.

After looking like he finally flipped the switch to aggressive Wiggins, he failed to break 20 points in five of the last six contests, including a paltry 10 and 11 in the last two Warriors losses.

Wiggins piled up 28 points Monday though, and will look to start another hot streak.

When Wiggins is on, you can tell. He jab-steps less and makes quick decisions with the ball. Kerr said it’s been something he’s had to change about his game and looks comfortable playing this new style:

I think he’s really feeling more and more comfortable playing this style where if you’re open, you let it go. No ball stopping, not a ton of dribbling and he’s just been great… He’s having a incredibly efficient offensive season.”

Like Wiggins, Curry has been scuffling a little as well lately, at least compared to the MVP-level he had been at. Curry had a season-low 12 against the Suns, then followed with better scoring on poor shooting – just 40 and 25 percent.

Curry got back on in a dangerous rhythm Monday, putting up 31 points on 8-of-16 shooting.

The Warriors defense looked back in sync as well after a tumultuous start.

They held the Magic under 20 points in two separate quarters and limited Orlando to just 43 percent shooting for the game.

They also held the much-improved Cole Anthony to just nine points after he came in averaging 20-plus.

The big lead let the Warriors throw out rookie Jonathan Kuminga for extended minutes.

Kuminga has been tearing it up in Santa Cruz, with 21 and 27 in two weekend games. His aggression was on full display against the Magic, earning him nine points in 12 minutes as he attacked the rim on the his first four possessions.

A nasty putback dunk capped his night. The rookie is pushing for more minutes after losing his spot in the rotation once Juan Toscano-Anderson started emerging.

It’s Kuminga’s athleticism that has everyone’s attention, even Kerr:

He’s got that sort of shocking athleticism, that is rare even in the NBA where there’s so many great athletes, JK stands out. Theres just a suddenness to his burst, whether it’s catching and going or he had that tip dunk where his head was next to the rim.”

Up Next

The Warriors get a one-day break before the Portland Trailblazers (11-14) visit Chase. It’s usually a game to mark in the calendar with Damian Lillard visiting the Bay Area, but Wednesday’s game will be missing the marquee aspect without Lillard or C.J. McCollum. Add to that the turmoil in their front office after longtime GM Neil Olshey was fired recently after an internal investigation.


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