Marreese Speights held his follow-through as he watched his fifth 3-pointer in a six-minute span swish though. The 6-foot-10 forward then turned away with his lips pursed and three fingers extended on each of his hands, which he held down below Brandon Pirri Jersey his hips as he galloped triumphantly toward the other end.
Speights highlighted an 18-point performance by hitting five of his career-high six 3-pointers during a decisive 22-6 run, and the Orlando Magic soundly defeated the New Orleans Pelicans 115-99 on Monday night.
Speights’ second 3 of the game made it 87-83 in the final minute of the third quarter. He drained four more early in the fourth, after which Orlando led 106-89.
Speights’ previous career high for 3s in a game was four. He said he was apprehensive during the early years of his NBA career to shoot from beyond the 3-point line, but starting doing so more about halfway through his second of three seasons with Golden State.
When I come into the game, I feel like I’m hot, and to be able to have open shots like that, you’ve got to knock them down, Speights said. My teammates did great finding me.
I don’t think they get enough credit defensively. It’s amazing, said Clippers coach Doc Rivers. Whenever we talk about Golden State, we only talk about their offense. And I think their defense is what sets them apart.
Though the Clippers try to run their offense through Blake Griffin, the power forward was quickly doubled whenever he touched the ball down low and struggled to get his shot off.
He finished with 16 points on four of 10 shooting.
They came pretty early, Griffin said. Some teams wait for the first dribble, some teams wait until you have a foot outside the lane. They doubled pretty early and pretty consistently throughout the game.
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The Warriors had 37 assists on the night to 12 turnovers. They outrebounded Los Angeles 46-35 and outshot them, if only 89-86.