Wednesday, May 22, 2024
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Warriors fall to Magic 94-90; Suns clinch first in Pacific

ORLANDO, FLORIDA (AP) – Franz Wagner made three free throws with 12.2 seconds left and dunked on an inbounds play for the final points, leading the Orlando Magic to a 94-90 win over the Golden State Warriors yesterday.

With the Warriors’ loss, the NBA-leading Phoenix Suns (58-14) clinched first place in the Pacific Division.

Mo Bamba’s three-pointer with 52 seconds left gave Orlando an 89-88 lead.

Wendell Carter Jr led Orlando with 19 points and Wagner had 18 points and a big finish.

“Franz can play, man,” said Magic guard Cole Anthony, who had 14 points and five assists.

“He can hoop. I saw it here first hand tonight.”

Jordan Poole scored 26 points for the Warriors, who shot 40 per cent for the game and had seven turnovers in the fourth quarter on the way to their third straight loss. Klay Thompson added 15 points and Otto Porter Jr had 14 points and 15 rebounds.

Golden State Warriors forward Andrew Wiggins looks for a shot against Orlando Magic forward Franz Wagner. PHOTO: AP

“I think we’re playing soft, I think we’re playing stupid,” Warriors forward Draymond Green said. “We’re just not playing good basketball. We’re getting punked, and we’re losing a lot of fourth quarters. No disrespect to the Orlando Magic, but they’re one of the worst teams in the league.”

Not having Stephen Curry for a second straight game did not qualify as an excuse, according to Green.

“No, Steph’s not going to bring a level of physicality to the game,” he said. “That’s not his job.”

Warriors coach Steve Kerr said things change without Curry in the lineup.

“We have to look at our lineup, we have to address everything,” Kerr said. “It’s like a domino effect. You saw me searching for lineups tonight. But I was really disappointed in the fourth quarter. We did not execute at all in the fourth quarter.”

The Warriors shot seven for 24 without and failed to hit a three-pointer in the first quarter, falling behind 25-12 before Porter and Thompson scored the final five points of the period. Jonathan Kuminga had 10 points and four rebounds in the second quarter to keep the Warriors in it.

Golden State was three for 18 from three-point range until Poole, Porter and Thompson combined for five straight in a five-minute pan, giving the Warriors with a 69-61 lead with 3:15 left in the third quarter.

Poole’s long three-pointer at the start of the fourth quarter gave Golden State its first double-digit lead of the game at 77-65.

“But we stayed engaged in the game,” Anthony said. “We realised there’s four quarters to a game, and we’re not going to lose in one moment like that.”

But Markelle Fultz scored twice in a 13-0 run by the Magic while the Warriors were scoreless for nearly five minutes.

Thompson could not avoid fouling Wagner on his three-point attempt in the final seconds.