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Warriors roll past Magic as Curry rests

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Kevin Durant reacts to a play during the first half of the Orlando Magic vs. Golden State Warriors game at Oakland’s Oracle Arena on Monday, November 13th, 2017. (Mira Laing/Special to S.F. Examiner)
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OAKLAND — On a night when Stephen Curry never emerged from the locker room, the Golden State Warriors produced yet another third-quarter barrage to dispatch the Orlando Magic, 110-100 and pushed their win streak to seven.

With the two-time MVP absent, the reigning Finals MVP, Kevin Durant, took over early and often. Durant poured in a team-high 21 points, totaled seven rebounds and also dished out a squad-leading eight dimes.

As has been the habit during the recent run of wins, the Warriors sprinted ahead in the third, opening the quarter with a 10-2 burst and ultimately turning what had been an even affair into a 13-point lead at 88-75.

Head coach Steve Kerr still can’t isolate what’s leading to the third-quarter magic.

“No,” Kerr said before pausing for several seconds.

“The only thing that I see is we start taking care of the ball,” Kerr continued. “We just seem to be more careful.”

Durant produced a spectacular display late in the second quarter. Alongside Kevon Looney, Durant stuffed Aaron Gordon, pulling down the rebound in one fluid motion. Durant coasted up the floor, crossed over Gordon and drilled a shot from near the top of the key.

Durant insisted the sequence was just business as usual.

“Normal,” Durant said when asked how it felt.

Durant’s eyes lit up when discussing how much he enjoys punctuating a defense stop with an offensive highlight.

“Oh yeah. Yeah,” Durant said. “It’s just momentum. You want to have those big momentum plays that will get the crowd into it.”

In the place of Curry, Livingston, who was making his first start of the season and ninth as a Dub, went for 16 points, while handing out six assists.

“Shaun is an unbelievable luxury to have,” Kerr said. “This is a guy who was heading for an All-Star career before the devastating injury.”

“Since he’s been here, he’s been such a huge part of our team on and off the floor,” Kerr added.

Another night, another Draymond special

Draymond Green scored 20 points, grabbed four rebounds, tallied five assists, recorded two steals and finished a game-high +26 — all while shooting 8-for-11 from the field and 3-for-5 from beyond the arc.

“You’ve got to realize the type of player that Draymond is that he puts in the work,” Durant said. “He really works at his shooting.”

Still not peaking

Asked if the Warriors are playing at their highest level, Green was reminded of an exchange for last week when he scoffed at the idea that Curry is “peaking.”

Shaqtin’ a fool

Nick Young capped the third quarter in embarrassing fashion. Out on the wing for the final possession, Young pump fakes the Magic defender only to have the clock expire before he could attempt his shot. Young finished with seven points, hitting just one of six triples.

Playing without the ‘chaos’

Kerr admitted that it was a totally different ballgame playing without Curry.

“Steph causes so much chaos every game with those high drags, transition plays and then his energy off the ball and movement with the ball,” Kerr said. “He creates a lot of defensive awareness from the other team and that opens up doors for everybody. Without him, you could feel it.”

Cook debuts

With five minutes left in the fourth, Quinn Cook, summoned from the Santa Cruz Warriors earlier in the day, made his Golden State debut.

The return of Mo Buckets

Sharp-shooting big man and 2015 champ Marreese Speights was back in the building, scoring nine points in 16 minutes of the bench. Before the game, Kerr had nothing but plaudits for Mo Buckets.

“Love Mo Speights. One of my favorites,” Kerr said. “Just a huge heart. Wonderful teammate and a guy that just stayed ready every game.”

kbuscheck@sfexaminer.com

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