It could have been a disaster for Oklahoma City, but the Thunder held off a late surge from the Orlando Magic, beating them 101-98. With the win, OKC is the first team to open the season with 12 straight home wins since the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2008. It is also the second-longest home streak in franchise history: the Thunder won 14 straight from January-March 2012.
Oklahoma City has been on a tear of late, winning its past six games in a row and 14 of its last 15.
The Thunder had a 16-point lead with six minutes to go in the game and squandered most of it before ultimately hanging on for the win. Thanks largely to Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, the Thunder were able to stay perfect at home.
Durant led with 28 points, nine rebounds and five assists, and Westbrook added a double-double effort of 20 points and 12 rebounds. He also had six assists on the night.
For Orlando, Aaron Affalo had 25 points and Nikola Vucevic helped out as well with 13 points and 11 boards for his 11th double-double on the season.
As well as Oklahoma City has been playing, the ending of this game was pretty ugly.
Orlando capitalized on Thunder mistakes, coming back from being down 16 to ending the game on an 18-5 run. It certainly made things interesting and turned what could have been an easy win for Oklahoma City into a late thriller.
Overtime looked possible in the final 13 seconds of regulation time. Durant made only one of his free throw attempts to put by three points, 101-98. Glen Davis had the chance to tie but missed a three pointer, which Vucevic tried to tip in. With 1.3 seconds left, Vucevic initially was given the points and Serge Ibaka was called with goaltending. After a video review however, the call was overturned. A jump-ball came in its place, and though Orlando won the tip, the Magic could not get a shot off in time and OKC’s home streak could live on.
With the win, the Thunder advance to 19-4 on the season and the Magic fall to 7-17. Oklahoma City next travels to Denver, Colo. to face the Nuggets on Tuesday, Dec. 17 at 9 p.m. ET.