The Golden State Warriors knew going into their meeting with the Orlando Magic that they would struggle containing Dwight Howard, and struggle they did. Nevertheless the W's remained in the game all night as they attempted to use Howard's poor free throw shooting against him, sending him into the record books and the Magic to a 117-109 win at Oracle Arena.
The Warriors (3-7) came out firing in the first half, breaking out to a double-digit lead at one point until a late run brought the Magic (8-3) within four at the half. And after trading leads throughout the second half, Monta Ellis would take over for the W's down the stretch, scoring 11 of his 30 points in the fourth quarter, but eventually would prove not enough as Howard would finish with 45 points and 23 rebounds, dominating the game into the record books.
Golden State decided to 'hack-a-Dwight' for most of the game, committing 36 fouls as a team as they decided to take their chances with the 40% or so free throw shooting Howard. Dwight would have double-double before halftime, and end up finishing breaking the NBA regular season record of free throw attempts, eclipsing Wilt Chamberlain's old mark of 34 attempts tonight with 39 attempts, making 21 of them. It also ties him with Shaq's 39 FT attempts in the 200 NBA finals, which Mark Jackson played in.
David Lee played excellent as well, eventually fouling out late in the fourth with 26 points and 12 rebounds, while Brandon Rush played well in Dorell Wright's absence with 12 points. Klay Thompson and Nate Robinson would add 14 apiece off the bench. Four W's would finish with 5 or more fouls, while as a team took 36 less free throws than Orlando.
This was first non-overtime game they scored 100 points as the offense starts to gel more, which is a plus. But this game epitomized the W's lack of size, meaning the team is going to have to figure something out to fill the gap left behind without Kwame.
Full box score can be found here.
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