For the fourth straight season, the Golden State Warriors have left the Amway Center with a defeat. For the third time during that stretch, they did so after blowing a double-digit fourth-quarter lead.
The Orlando Magic erased a 14-point deficit in the final period on Tuesday night to stun Golden State, 94-90. After a bank shot by Wendell Carter Jr. gave the Magic their first lead of the period, Mo Bamba put Orlando ahead for good with a corner three-pointer with less than a minute to play.
It was the Magic (20-53) that led by double digits in the first half. Orlando took a 46-38 lead into the locker room, but the Warriors shot 7-for-11 from deep during the third quarter and outscored the Magic 36-19 during the quarter.
The Warriors led 74-65 entering the final period. Golden State’s Jordan Poole led all scorers with 26 points and scored the first five points of the fourth quarter to push the lead to 79-65.
Orlando closed to within one on four separate occasions during the final period before Carter’s bank shot finally gave the Magic an 86-85 lead with less than two minutes remaining.
Andrew Wiggins knocked down a three-pointer with just over a minute to play to put the Warriors (47-25) back in front, but Bamba answered with a corner trey with 52 seconds left. After Poole missed on a driving attempt, Carter grabbed the rebound, but it looked as though the Warriors would get one last shot.
With the shot clock ticking down, Orlando’s Franz Wagner was forced to heave a desperation three-pointer. His attempt was no good, but Klay Thompson was called for a foul. Wagner knocked down all three foul shots to push the Magic advantage to four.
Poole cut the deficit to 92-90 with a drive, but off the inbound, Wagner was able to free himself cutting to the basket on the next possession and jammed it home to put the exclamation point on the victory with 6.5 seconds left. R.J. Hampton stole the ensuing inbounds pass to seal the win.
Orlando shot 43% from the field to 40% for the Warriors. Golden State held a nine-rebound advantage, but turned the ball over five more times than the Magic and made five fewer free throws.
During his big night, Poole hit five of the Warriors’ 11 three-pointers. Thompson added 15 points in the loss. Otto Porter Jr. and rookie Jonathan Kuminga each finished with 14 points off the bench for the Warriors while Wiggins, a starter, added 13. Porter led all rebounders with 15 boards.
Fresh off a monster game against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Carter again paced the Magic with 19 points and eight rebounds. Franz Wagner added 18 points on an efficient 6-for-9 from the field. Cole Anthony, the leading scorer for the Magic this season, chipped in with 14 points.
The Magic have now won consecutive games while holding opponents to 90 points or fewer in both victories. Orlando had allowed an average of 133.3 points per game in three straight losses before that. The Magic are 7-6 in their last 13 games and will have a short turnaround as they visit the Thunder on Wednesday night.
Without superstar guard Stephen Curry for a third straight game, the Warriors have lost three straight and are just 6-12 in their last 18 games. They’ll also have a quick turnaround as they visit the Miami Heat on Wednesday evening.