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Third-quarter onslaughts help Warriors barrel through historic win streak

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Kevin Durant said the reason the Warriors dominate in the third quarter is because they’re quick to make adjustments. (Daniel Kim/Special to S.F. Examiner)
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Following the Golden State Warriors’ sixth resounding win in as many games on Saturday night, Philadelphia 76ers head coach Brett Brown — whose emerging squad had just been battered by the reigning champs — sounded like a dazed boxer.

“There is so much firepower on that team that you turn your head or you’re not in this complete sort of state of anxiety wondering where people are, if you just take a subtle rest, they hit you right in the mouth,” Brown said.

During the run of victories, which makes the Warriors the second team in NBA history to win six games in a row by at least 17 points, the numbers have been astounding.

Golden State has outscored its opponents by 175 points, good for an average margin of victory of 21.5. The numbers are especially pronounced in the third quarter when the club is plus-75.

Kevin Durant, who dropped nine of his 29 points in the third on Saturday night, credited the Warriors ability to make on-the-fly adjustments.

“We just don’t wait to correct what’s going on in the games [until] after the games,” Durant explained. “That’s the main thing.”

Head coach Steve Kerr pointed to improved focus in the second half, fewer turnovers and a stingier defense — anchored by Draymond Green.

“I think he’s been one of the keys,” Kerr said of Green, who had five blocks against the 76ers. “We were struggling early in the season and it’s no coincidence that when Draymond plays well, we play well and he’s been tremendous really during this whole streak.”

A rest for Curry?

Recent history suggests that Stephen Curry, who’s nursing a bruised right thigh after colliding with Ben Simmons in the first quarter on Saturday, will get a rest tonight when the Warriors host the Orlando Magic.

Durant missed last Wednesday’s win over the Minnesota Timberwolves after sustaining a similar injury two nights prior. Holding out Curry, who’s officially listed as questionable, would not only be the safe play healthwise, but would also allow Kerr to keep both Kevon Looney and Jordan Bell active.

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