GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS (15-7)
at ORLANDO MAGIC (8-13)
Tip-off: Thursday, 7:05 p.m. ET
Line: Golden State -5, Total: 194.5
The red-hot Warriors seek their six straight road win when they visit struggling Orlando on Friday night.
Golden State has been unbelievable during this seven-game road trip, winning the first five games (4-1 ATS) by a 5.6 PPG margin. They shocked 8-point favorite Miami on Wednesday with a 97-95 victory, thanks to a Draymond Green lay-up with less than one second remaining. The Warriors improved to 14-7 ATS this year, and 8-4 ATS on the road. Orlando played well on its five-game road trip from Dec. 3-9, going 4-1 ATS (3-2 SU), including a 102-94 win over Golden State. But the Magic lost to Atlanta 86-80 in their return home Wednesday, marking their fourth straight defeat (SU and ATS) at Amway Center.
Can the Warriors stay unbeaten on their current road trip? For the answer, connect to NBA Best Bets for all the Expert picks throughout the entire 2012-13 season. The experts are surging with a collective 20-15 ATS (57%) mark in Best Bets over the past six days, and are now at 53% ATS (134-118-10) on Best Bets for the season. StatFox Gary is 15-7-1 ATS (68%) since Nov. 26 and 63.4% ATS (26-15-3) Best Bets for the year. StatFox Scott is at 57% ATS (32-24) Best Bets for the season thanks to a 4-2 ATS run, while StatFox Dave is 64% ATS (7-4) on Best Bets in the past six days. For NBA Totals, StatFox Scott is 4-2 in the past five days and 37-20 (65%) for the season, while Gary is 14-10 (58%) in Totals since Nov. 24.
The Warriors are 8-1 SU (7-2 ATS) in their past nine games, with the one defeat occurring on Dec. 3 at home to Orlando, 102-94. But there have been many heroes for Golden State during the win streak. SG Stephen Curry is averaging 21.6 PPG (47% FG, 49% threes) and 6.8 APG, while PF David Lee has 20+ points and 10+ rebounds in all five contests, averaging 24.2 PPG (59% FG) and 13.4 RPG. Lee is also 17-for-17 from the free throw line in the past three games, but he has posted his lowest career road scoring average in Orlando, averaging just 10.1 PPG in eight games at Amway Center. Both players also had nice outings in the Dec. 3 loss to Orlando, as Curry poured in 25 points with 11 assists, while Lee added 22 points and nine boards. The Warriors were badly outscored with their bench players in that game, as PF Carl Landry posted a minus-14 rating, while PG Jarrett Jack posted a minus-11 rating. But Jack was outstanding in Wednesday's win at Miami, scoring 20 points (9-of-14 FG) with four rebounds and four assists. Landry failed to score a basket (0-for-3 FG) in the win over Miami, but SG Klay Thompson scored a team-high 27 points (11-of-21 FG, 5-of-13 threes) with seven boards and four assists.
The Magic's offense has been sputtering since the 102-94 win at Golden State, averaging just 85.3 PPG on 42.9% FG in the four games. Turnovers (17.0 per game) have also been a problem during these four contests, as PG Jameer Nelson has just 16 assists and 11 turnovers in this timeframe. Such was not the case in the Dec. 3 win at Golden State, when the team had 29 assists and just eight turnovers. SG Arron Afflalo and PF Glen Davis each scored 24 points in that win, while J.J. Redick pumped in 22 points (10 in fourth quarter), seven assists and a team best +17 rating, and C Nikola Vucevic dominated the paint with 15 rebounds (six offensive) to go along with 14 points. But in the last game against Atlanta, Vucevic had just eight points and six boards, posting a minus-19 rating in his 19 minutes. The entire Magic team shot just 38% from the floor and failed to reach 90 points for the fifth time in the past eight games.