Warriors-Magic Preview

The Orlando Magic's best stretch in two months comes with the caveat that their opponents are hitting 3-pointers at an alarming rate.

Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson certainly seem prepared to exploit that problem when the Golden State Warriors visit Thursday night.

The Warriors (51-5) are averaging a league-high 115.1 points per game and reached the 100-point mark for the 15th straight time in Wednesday's 118-112 win at Miami. They've won 14 in that span and improved to 4-1 on a seven-game road trip that ends Saturday against Oklahoma City.

Curry finished with 42 points after his go-ahead 3-pointer with 38 seconds left and clinching free throws with 18.5 seconds remaining. Thompson scored 33 for the defending NBA champions, who are one game ahead of the pace of the record 72-win Chicago Bulls of 1995-96.

Curry leads the NBA in scoring and is averaging 33.8 points in eight games this month. He reached 40 for the ninth time this season Wednesday, and he'll be looking to break Kyle Korver's record of 127 straight games with at least one 3-pointer after draining six against the Heat.

Thompson is averaging 27.8 points during the trip and has hit at least four from deep in each of the last three.

"Steph and Klay can be such equalizers," coach Steve Kerr said. "Steph has license to shoot any time he wants. I'd be an idiot if I didn't let him shoot any time he wants. I tell him all the time to shoot as much as he wants, but let's get the ball moving and force the other team to defend. He got Klay going (in the fourth quarter Wednesday)."

The Magic (25-30) have won four of six and sit in 11th in the Eastern Conference, 3 1/2 games back of Charlotte for the final playoff spot. Their only defeats in that stretch are by a combined five points to San Antonio and Indiana.

But despite their success lately, they're having trouble defending the 3. Orlando is allowing opponents to shoot 43.6 percent from long range during that stretch after Philadelphia went 10 of 21 in Tuesday's 124-115 victory.

Curry (45.5 percent) and Thompson (42.0) both rank among the league's best 3-point shooters and have combined for more 3s (442) than nine teams - including Orlando.

"Every time I watch them I feel like I'm watching the best team I've ever seen play. If they're not (the best ever), they're right there," Magic coach Scott Skiles told the team's official website. "They're the best passing team in the league, hence them shooting the ball so well. Everything is sharp with them.''

Nikola Vucevic provided the offense necessary Tuesday, scoring a season-high 35 points. Victor Oladipo finished with 22 and Evan Fournier added 21 for Orlando, which gave up 31 points apiece in the first three quarters.

The Magic likely won't want to get into a shootout in this matchup, although the Warriors are allowing an average of 107.3 points on the road compared to 98.9 at home.

"We've got to do a better job of keeping our man in front of us and do a better job collectively, and we're capable of doing that,'' Oladipo said. "(Golden State) is in a place right now where they are all playing free and playing at a high level because it's fun. They just love playing with each other and I think that's why they play so well. It's going to be a great competition and I'm looking forward to it.''

The Magic have dropped the last four meetings, but they nearly won at Golden State in the last meeting Dec. 2, 2014. Oladipo scored 27 points before Curry's 3-pointer with 2.2 seconds left gave the Warriors a 98-97 victory.

Golden State 13-1 in the second game of a back-to-back set.

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