The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Sports

February 7, 2014

Magic dunk Thunder

ORLANDO, Fla. —  Tobias Harris slammed home a fast-break pass from Maurice Harkless at the buzzer to give the Orlando Magic a 103-102 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday night.

With the Thunder leading 102-101 in the closing seconds, Kevin Durant missed a jumper to set up the last-second play, which was reviewed by officials and upheld.

Harris led the Magic with 18 points, followed by Arron Afflalo with 16. Orlando’s bench outscored the Oklahoma City’s 36-23.

The win gives the Magic their first four-game home winning streak in two years. It also snaps the Thunder’s five-game series win streak.  

Durant led the Thunder with 29 points and 12 assists. Serge Ibaka added 26 points.  

The loss was just the second in 14 games for Oklahoma City.

The Magic made eight of their first 11 shots to start the third quarter and trailed by eight entering the fourth.

Orlando coach Jacque Vaughn said before the game  the matchup would turn on whether the Magic’s second unit could outplay the Thunder’s bench. His prediction came true.

Without their starters on the floor, the Magic kept their third quarter momentum going by scoring the first eight points of the final period to cut the Thunder’s lead and tie it at 88-all with just over 9 minutes to play.

Durant was re-inserted into the game and promptly put his team back in front with a jumper from the wing.  

The Magic kept coming, though, and took their first lead, 91-90, on a pair of free throws by Harris at the 7:59 mark.

Orlando maintained the lead over the next three minutes, before back-to-back jumpers by the Thunder’s Reggie Jackson tied the game back up at 97.

The Magic then went cold and missed five of their next six shots.

Tied again at 99, Oklahoma City broke the stalemate when Durant came down on the break and found Thabo Sefolosha in the corner for a 3-pointer with 1:56 left.

Glen Davis drew an offensive foul and on the ensuing possession Afflalo was fouled on a 3-point attempt with less than a minute to play. He hit two of his three attempts to trim the gap to 102-101.

The Thunder hovered above 70 percent shooting early on and led by as many as 17 points in the first half.

The Magic hung around, shooting 52 percent themselves for the half. But they couldn’t match Oklahoma City’s 8-for-12 shooting from the 3-point line.

The Thunder also had 17 assists on their 22 field goals, and connected on all 13 of their free throw attempts. Durant had seven assists which led to 16 points by his teammates

Orlando’s lone edge in the half was in points in the paint, where it outscored Oklahoma City 28-18 in its favor.

The Thunder will be returning home Sunday when they host the New York Knicks in a noon tipoff.

The game will  be televised by ABC. It can be heard on KCRC (1390 AM).

NOTES: The Magic honored former players Sam Vincent and Jeff Turner, along with former team executive John Gabriel as part of their 25th anniversary season celebration. ... Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Darrelle Revis sat courtside Friday. Model Kate Upton also was in attendance, sitting on the baseline alongside Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander. ... A Magic season-ticket holder won $10,000 during a promotion during a timeout by hitting a free throw, layup and 3-pointer within 24 seconds.

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