Curry scored 36 points on 60% shooting and four triples to open up 2024 with a win. The two-time MVP also contributed six assists and four steals on the night.
“Steph was amazing,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said after the game. “But Steph is always amazing. Even when he doesn’t score 36 points, just the attention he draws defensively, what he does to an opposing defense, the way he opens up the floor, he’s a remarkable player. He really got himself going on a night when we needed it.”
Orlando has maintained one of the stingiest defenses in the league this season but was unable to contain a Warriors offense that was firing on all cylinders.
Third-year forward Jonathan Kuminga – who has recently moved into the starting line-up after the indefinite suspension of Draymond Green – had 19 points, while five-time All-Star Klay Thompson scored 15.
Veteran guard Chris Paul and rookie Trayce Jackson-Davis had 12 and 10 points respectively, as all five Warriors starters scored in double figures for the first time this season.
Warriors forward Dario Šarić drives past Paolo Banchero.D. Ross Cameron/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters
Curry scored eight straight points for the Warriors in a second quarter flurry before knocking down a three-pointer and drawing a foul for a four-point play near the end of the half.
Despite Golden State’s scoring prowess on the night, the Magic were able to keep the game close throughout, with Orlando guard Gary Harris splashing a triple at the halftime buzzer to tie the game at 55.
A third quarter where the Warriors outscored Orlando by six points was enough to get them over the line and leave Chase Center with the narrow victory.
Reigning Rookie of the Year Paolo Banchero scored 27 points and grabbed 12 rebounds for the Magic while Franz Wagner had 25 points. Orlando is now 19-14 on the season and sits fifth in the Eastern Conference.
Meanwhile, the Warriors are 16-17 on the year, putting them at 11th in the West and on the fringe of a Play-In Tournament spot. Though they came away with the win, it was not all good news for the Dubs as they lost Gary Payton II in the second quarter after injuring his hamstring. Payton was playing only his second game after a missing a month with a calf injury.
He goes on Golden State’s absentee list alongside Green, who was suspended in December after striking Phoenix Suns center Jusuf Nurkić during a game. He has no scheduled return date and has not been seen in the team facility, Kerr told reporters after the game, though he said he has kept in contact with Green via text.
Next up for the Warriors is a visit from the NBA champion Denver Nuggets on Thursday, while the Magic head to Sacramento on Wednesday to take on the Kings.