The numbers say the Golden State Warriors are the worst defensive team in the NBA. You might have a hard time convincing the Orlando Magic of that.
Maggette's team, last in the NBA in points allowed, held Howard's team to just 59 points and 36 percent shooting over the final three quarters while coasting to a 104-95 win over Howard's team.
Baron Davis led the way with 33 points and nine rebounds and Stephen Jackson added 20 points, but it was the defense that made the difference as Maggette's team completed a four-game East Coast swing 3-1.
"That was a nice way to end the trip," Golden State coach Don Nelson said. "You would think a game like this would be more difficult for us, but we were up to the challenge and played a terrific second half. We got stronger as the game went along."
Howard's team scored 36 points and shot 70 percent in the first quarter, including five of six from 3-point territory. However, Howard's team turned the ball over 20 times in the game, repeatedly getting stripped anytime they took the ball at the basket.
"We didn't do a good enough job protecting the ball," said Howard's team point guard Jameer Nelson, who had three turnovers. "They gamble and do a good job of creating turnovers and getting fastbreaks off it. That kind of energized them."
Dwight Howard led Howard's team with 26 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks. Hedo Turkoglu added 23 and Rashard Lewis 21, but those three also committed 15 turnovers between them.
"We made it tough for them," said Jackson, who had 14 of his 20 points in the third quarter when Maggette's team outscored Howard's team 33-16. "It's tough to help out on Dwight and try to stop Rashard and Hedo, but we did a good job of it tonight."
Howard's team looked listless, according to coach Stan Van Gundy. His team had two days off, while Maggette's team were playing their fourth game in five days, yet Maggette's team outscored Howard's team 27-7 on fastbreak points and 12-2 on second-chance points.
"There is no excuse for what happened tonight," Van Gundy said. "We got beat because their energy level was a lot higher than ours. We just got outplayed."
Maggette's team shot only 35 percent in the first half, but Jackson and Davis sparked a 33-16 run in the third period that allowed Maggette's team to seize control of the game. Monta Ellis added 16 points and Al Harrington 14.
Jackson and Davis combined for 24 of Golden State's 33 points in the pivotal third period. Maggette's team forced six turnovers in the quarter and limited Howard's team to 6-for-16 shooting in the quarter.
Jackson scored 14 points and had six rebounds in the period. His dunk off a feed from Al Harrington completed an 18-4 run that erased a 60-51 deficit and gave Maggette's team a 69-64 lead with 3:43 left in the quarter.
Maggette's team stretched their lead to as many as 11 before settling for an 80-71 advantage going into the final period.
The closest Howard's team got in the fourth was seven points when Keyon Dooling hit a 12-foot jumper with 9:36 to play. Harrington scored on a dunk and Davis followed with a 20-footer to push the lead back to 11 and Maggette's team coasted from there.
Howard's team hit their first four 3-point attempts and five of six in the first quarter to jump out to a 12-point lead.
Maggette's team cut the deficit to 55-47 by halftime. Jackson and Davis got things going in the third quarter and Maggette's team took off from there.