So Vaughn could only be impressed with what the Oklahoma City
Thunder have done at home this year. With its 101-98 victory over
the Magic on Sunday night at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, the
Thunder moved to 12-0 at home.
"It's extremely hard," Vaughn said. "It shows how good this team is
and how hard it is to play here and what they're about. Their
approach every night is refreshing to see. I've seen it before when
I was in this conference. Those guys have grown up and they bring it
every single night."
The Thunder are riding their longest home winning streak to start a
season in the Oklahoma City era. However, the latest victory didn't
With the Thunder (19-4) leading by four and 22 seconds left in the
fourth quarter, Oklahoma City guard Russell Westbrook committed a
turnover, and Orlando forward Maurice Harkless turned it into a
layup to close the gap to two points.
The Magic (7-17) fouled forward Kevin Durant, who made one of two
from the free-throw line, and Orlando trailed 101-98 with 13 seconds
"We were just trying to find a way to get a bucket," Westbrook said
about the final minutes. "We did a good job of taking our time,
getting to the line, finishing the game."
The Magic got the ball to forward Glen Davis, who missed a
3-pointer, but center Nikola Vucevic got the rebound. Oklahoma City
forward Serge Ibaka blocked Vucevic's shot but was called for
goaltending. However, after the officials reviewed the play and
overturned the call.
With 1.3 seconds left, the teams had a jump ball at midcourt.
Orlando got the tip, but was unable to get off a shot before the
"It was a good attempt, just not enough time on the clock," Orlando
forward Tobias Harris said. "We never gave up. We thought as a team
we could win the game the whole game. For us, that's important. That
was a step in the right direction for us as a team."
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Vucevic had 13 points and 16 rebounds. Guard Arron Afflalo
scored a team-high 25 points and guard Victor Oladipo added 15
points in the loss.
The Thunder received solid play up and down the lineup. Durant,
the NBA's leading scorer, shot 11-for-18 for his 28 points. He
also grabbed nine rebounds and handed out five assists. In his
last two outings, Durant has scored 59 points on 21-for-31
For the third time in four games, Westbrook claimed a
double-double with 20 points, 12 boards and six assists. Guard
Jeremy Lamb came off the bench to score 16 points.
Despite being the only team in the Western Conference yet to
lose at home, Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks was not happy
that his team let a 16-point fourth-quarter lead collapse on
them in the final six minutes.
"We have to continue to remind ourselves there is 48 minutes of
basketball," Brooks said. "You have to play every possession. In
the NBA you have to take a shot every 24 seconds. The lead goes
down fast if you don't get good shots, defend or get back on
defense. The momentum shifted right there."
NOTES: Orlando coach Jacque Vaughn was asked if he saw
similarities between his G Victor Oladipo and Oklahoma City G
Russell Westbrook. "I am the anti-comparison coach probably in
the league," Vaughn said. "I do not do comparisons." ...
Oklahoma City C Kendrick Perkins had a tradition of going to the
locker room before every game. Until recently, it was not a big
deal, but local fans began to notice his absence during the
national anthem each game and began to comment about it on
social media. "I go in there and get my head together," Perkins
said. "Sometimes I'll be in there meditating a little bit and
then I come out. But I'm going to be out there from now on." ...
Oklahoma City G Thabo Sefolosha was back in the starting lineup
after missing three games with a sprained right knee. Rookie G
Andre Roberson, who was called up from the NBA Development
League's Tulsa 66ers, went to the bench.
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