BOX SCORE | SHOT CHARTS
Thunder (34-19) was out in the first half on Tuesday night against Orlando, when Magic (22-32) shot just under 60 percent off the pitch and hit 7-of-15 from long range in the first two quarters to take a 69-62 lead into half-pause. Their offensive attack continued to open in the second half, with the Magic lead reaching 12 just three minutes into the third quarter.
It was when Thunder's crime and defense were suddenly on the same side.
With the magic up 69-57 with 8:56 to go in the third, the thunder went to work at both ends – choking the Orlando offense as they lit up their defense with a huge dose of Paul George, Dennis Schroder and Jerami Grant. OKC outscored Magic 31
Schroder and George continued to jump up to open the fourth, forcing Orlando to a timeout of the 8:56 field after running out to a 14-5 start on perfect 6-of-6 shots. However, the offensive explosion proved volatile – OKC went 4-of-13 from the point forward – leaving it to the defense to shut it down.
Though Orlando looked so close to six by three minutes to play, Thunder defense was able to keep them at 29.2 percent shoot in the fourth – doing just enough to survive offensive collapse. George took matters into his own hands and came repeatedly to the free kick and went 10-for-11 from the strip in the fourth to give OKC the pillow that was needed to pull away in the last minutes.
George led the way to Thunder with 39 points (9/26 FG, 6/15 3P, 15/16 FT), eight rebounds and three steals – his fifth consecutive match with at least 36 points. Russell Westbrook recorded his 20th triple double in the season with 16 points, 15 rebounds and 16 assists. They were merged into double figures by a number of teammates, including a fantastic Grant (19 points, 11 ropes), Schroder (20 points), Steven Adams (14 points), Abdel Nader (11 points) and Terrance Ferguson (10 points ).
Terrance Ross scored Magic in scoring with 26 points from the bench (5/13 3P), followed by Evan Fourniers 25 points (4/7 3P). After going 7-of-14 from long range in the first half, the magic hit just 4 out of 22 after half an hour to give Thunder a chance to get into it.
Paul George :
Russ & PG ]. Although their individual state lines look good, George and Westbrook combine to shoot only 14 -40 (35%) against Magic. Really no problems with their shot choices – they were just not falling. George made it up with many points on the line, and Russ had no problems with being a facilitator. Other players have to step up when these shots do not fall, which luckily happened to OKC tonight.
Roleplayers . Although the superstar duo shot a total of 35 percent, players not named George or Westbrook went 32-52 (61.5%) to balance things. Grant was phenomenal on the way to 19 points and 11 rebounds – his first double-double since January 10. Schroder shot 7-of-9 after half an hour and helped turn around in the third quarter / opening of the fourth. All told that seven players scored in double figures on one night, All Stars needed help. Good effort all around.
Down Low . OKC turned the script from last week's match against Magic, winning 49-40 on the glass and 58-38 in paint scoring. Nikola Vucevic was much less of a problem with Steven Adams in the lineup when Vuc finished with 17 points and nine rebounds. (He had 27 and 12 last Tuesday)
Burton Back . Deonte Burton was back on the lead role. He recorded no statistics in three minutes of action.
I don't know, man . I hope we eventually get a 30-to-30 on p two months of Alex Abrine's life:
All the Fouls . There were 54 error calls in this one. Which is a lot. OKC went 27-of-37 (73%) from the strip. Orlando hit 27-of-34 (79.4%).
Next Up . Thunder returns to action on Thursday, against Memphis Grizzlies at Chesapeake Energy Arena. (FSOK, 7 PM CST)