Culture of Hoops

Magic Suffer Excruciating Loss to Thunder, 127-99

Image courtesy of Keith Allison/Flickr.

Image courtesy of Keith Allison/Flickr.

The Orlando Magic hosted the Oklahoma City Thunder who were looking to start their road trip on a high note, and boy did they ever. Dominating the host team in every aspect of the game, OKC would demolish the Magic 127-99.

As a harbinger of things to come, the Magic fell to a 13-point deficit in the first few minutes of the opening quarter. Orlando couldn’t get any shots to fall, while also struggling to stop a Thunder team who were shooting a red hot 69.6 percent from the floor. The Thunder turned up the intensity and pressured the Magic into six turnovers, which they turned  into eight free points. OKC would go on to put up 37 first-quarter points, the most the Magic given up this season.

The Oklahoma City Thunder’s punches would keep landing squarely on the Magic in the second quarter. OKC started the period by making all eight of their first shot attempts. The Magic had seemingly given up. As the Thunder’s lead kept getting bigger and bigger with each passing second, the Magic had the look of a team that knew this one was in the books. Unable to play at their pace, score any points on the fastbreak, or get any stops on the defensive end, the Magic would surrender 79 points to OKC, the most since the Houston Rockets put up 78 points back in 1990.

If this was a boxing match, the Magic would be looking like Martin Lawrence when he got in the ring with Tommy Hearns. The Magic showed signs of life by knocking down a few three-point shots, but OKC stomped out what little signs the Magic had left. Going for the jugular, the Thunder would do whatever it pleased against the host team. The Magic did outscore the Thunder 31-24, but still found themselves down 27 entering the fourth. The game ended for the Magic long before the final period. The Thunder would go on to cruise to an easy victory at the expense of the Magic.

Seven players finished in double figures for OKC, headlined by Kevin Durant‘s near triple-double of 21 points, 11 rebounds, and eight assists. Russell Westbrook had 17, while Serge Ibaka added 16. Dion Waiters continued his Magic-killing ways, putting up 16 points off the bench. Alongside Waiters, Reggie Jackson and Kendrick Perkins both added 13 and 11 points off the bench, respectively. Andre Roberson finished with 10 on the night.

For the Magic, Victor Oladipo led the team with a game-high 23 points. Elfrid Payton had 19 points and eight assists. Nikola Vucevic finished with 16 points.

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