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Energetic Magic avoid letdown, dump Warriors

The SportsXchange

OAKLAND -- Orlando Magic coach Jacque Vaughn cautioned his team after Sunday's emotional win over old pal Dwight Howard and the Lakers in Los Angeles to keep the party short. A hot Golden State Warriors team awaited 24 hours later.

After the Magic used a long-range assault from J.J. Redick and Arron Afflalo to complete the road sweep with a 102-94 win Monday night, the rookie coach considered popping the balloons again and mentioning Wednesday's game at Utah.

Then he thought better of it. Some things are just worth celebrating.

"It was today's game that makes it impressive," Vaughn said of the back-to-back victories. "We stayed in the now. We had energy and effort from the beginning of the game, and that's great."

Redick scored 10 of his 22 points in a long-distance flurry early in the fourth quarter, propelling the Magic into a double-digit lead they protected the rest of the way.

"His ability to shoot the ball, that's the great equalizer," Vaughn said after watching Redick's 4-for-6 performance on 3-pointers on a night when the guard also had seven assists. "At the same time, he has grown into becoming a very unselfish passer."

After the teams had played evenly through three quarters and exchanged three-point plays to begin the fourth, the Magic got a 3-pointer from backup E'Twaun Moore and a driving hoop from Afflalo to go up by five.

Seeking to complete their first 4-0 homestand in 20 years, the Warriors never led again, with Redick burying a long 2-pointer and a 3-pointer on consecutive possessions to push the advantage to 82-74.

Moments later, the former Duke standout hit again from beyond the arc and added two free throws, extending the lead to 91-80 with 5:06 to go.

"It's just a matter of timing," Afflalo said of the Magic's quick reversal after having lost three in a row at home before heading west. "We've just been trying to find ways to get comfortable out on the court, and it just so happened to be in California."

The Warriors, who now embark on a seven-game road trip, never got closer to eight down the stretch, with Afflalo scoring four late hoops to finish off a 24-point night.

"They outworked us; we haven't been outworked in a long time," said Warriors coach Mark Jackson, whose team had won its previous five home games. "They were coming off a big win (Sunday) night and didn't sit on it. They came in here and won a ballgame. They didn't steal it. They won it."

However, it would be easy enough to conclude the Magic indeed stole it. Orlando converted 14 Golden State turnovers into 23 points. The Magic turned the ball over a season-low eight times, leading to just 10 points for the Warriors.

"There's no excuse for what happened," said David Lee, who led the Warriors with 22 points and nine rebounds. "The thought in the locker room is: We're really disappointed we let one slip away here, just because every game is so valuable. Going on a long road trip here, we just wish we could have that one back."

Big men Glen Davis (24 points) and Nikola Vucevic (14 points, career-best 15 rebounds) also contributed to the Orlando win, combining for a majority of the club's 18 second-chance points.

Stephen Curry led the Warriors with 25 points and 11 assists. Jarrett Jack came off the bench to score 17, and Carl Landry added nine points and 10 rebounds for Golden State.

NOTES: The Magic continue their five-game trip with the Wednesday game against the Jazz, followed by visits to Sacramento and Phoenix. Orlando gets a day off before each of the next three games. ... Before Monday's game, the Warriors' Jackson praised Vaughn and the Magic's start. "He's done an outstanding job getting that team to compete," Jackson said. "They could have very easily said, 'Let's wait another year or two years,' but that's not when you start coaching. You start coaching now with laying a foundation." ... The Warriors fell to 4-1 against Eastern Conference clubs. They are two games into a stretch of nine in a row against teams from the other conference. ... The Warriors will visit Detroit, Brooklyn, Washington, Charlotte, Miami, Orlando and Atlanta on their 11-day trip that tips off Wednesday and never leaves the Eastern time zone ... In case you're wondering: No, the long stretch away from home has nothing to do with a special event at the Oracle Arena in Oakland. The building will be dark on nine of the 11 nights, with only a "Not So Silent Night" musical performance Friday and Saturday filling the basketball void.
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