Thunder Makes Orlando Their Magic Kingdom
By Randy Renner
Despite playing their third game in four nights, the Thunder stomped on the gas pedal hard and didn't let up till halftime.
By then they had scored a franchise Oklahoma City-era record 79 points while giving up just 45 to the Orlando Magic. OKC cruised the rest of the way and finished with a wire-to-wire 127-99 blowout win.
It's the second straight game the Thunder have scored 127 points.
“It’s good for us,” said Kevin Durant, who scored a team-high 21 points with a game-high 11 rebounds and eight assists. “It’s good to see everybody smiling after a win coming into the locker room after a game. We got to build on it and just get better from it and know what got us these two wins and try to go into Miami and get another one.”
The Thunder play the Heat on Tuesday and then will be at Washington on Wednesday as this season-long five game road trip continues.
But back to Orlando. The Thunder started the game with a 13-0 run and led 37-20 after the first quarter.
“I liked the way we came out,” said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. “We came out with the defense that we talked about to start this road trip. That was good. Everybody was locked in, engaged, a lot of activity, a lot of hands on the basketball, in passing lanes and we rebounded."
The big cushion allowed Brooks to rest all his starters for the entire fourth quarter.
Russell Westbrook finished with 17 points and six assists, Serge Ibaka and Dion Waiters each scored 16. Ibaka hit four 3-pointers to bring his long-ball shooting percentage up to 41.7 (second on the team behind Durant). He also had eight rebounds. Waiters was 7-for-9 shooting and is hitting 51 percent of his shots over the last four games.
The Thunder finished the game shooting 57.8 percent, in that near perfect first half they hit 72.7 percent.
“It’s fun when you play basketball like that,” said Westbrook, who had an amazing one-handed reverse dunk to finish off a fast break. “Everybody’s having a great time and, as you can see, when we win it’s good for everybody.”
So good Westbrook actually answered postgame questions with more than one word which is also usually good.
The Thunder are now back to .500 (20-20) for just the second time this season and begin the day tied for ninth place in the Western Conference, three games behind Phoenix.