Durant, Westbrook Bring the Magic in 139-136 Thriller


That. Was. Amazing. After a mostly forgettable first 44 minutes Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook turned it on for the Oklahoma City Thunder, overturning an 18-point deficit to defeat the Orlando Magic, 139-136, in a double overtime thriller at the Amway Center. Both Thunder stars hit big 3-pointers down the stretch to force overtime as the team found a way to win a game it really had no right to do.

After playing some terrible defense throughout the game, the Thunder turned it around late to force the Magic into some bad sets as their offense bogged down. They resorted to dumping the ball in to Nikola Vucevic, who was superbly handled by Steven Adams after he torched the Kiwi with 9-9 shooting in the first half. Durant then hit a clutch 3-pointer to tie the score late before Victor Oladipo hit a 3-pointer of his own with 5 seconds left to put the Magic ahead, 117-114.

Then in a moment of pure brilliance and luck, Westbrook launched a long distance jumper just inside the halfway line, banking it in and forcing overtime. The Thunder dominated the first overtime before a series of bad offensive possessions allowed Oladipo to hit another miracle 3-pointer and send the teams into double overtime. Durant and Westbrook controlled the game from there, and led the Thunder the rest of the way combining for 91 points on the night.

Durant finished with 43 points (on 15-of-30 shooting), 12 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 key late blocks to seal the game. Westbrook led all scorers with 48 points (17-of-36 shooting), 11 rebounds and 8 assists. Serge Ibaka (who sat late in the game) tallied 8 points, 12 rebounds (including six offensive boards, which helped keep the Thunder in the game early) and 2 blocks. The Thunder had no business winning this game but they did. Their record stands at 2-0 with a day to recover before playing the Nuggets at home Sunday.

"Lightning Bolts"

  • Orlando wanted to run and it killed the Thunder in transition, whose team defense was sloppy and the Magic got to the rim at will early on.
  • The Magic also dominated the paint up until midway through the 4th quarter, tallying 54 points in there as well as scoring 25 points off the Thunder’s 21 turnovers.
  • Turnovers are still a massive concern for the Thunder, but it’s early days and as they adjust to the new system you’d expect those numbers to go down. Patience.
  • KD played 54 minutes tonight and looked like the best version of himself. So his foot is fine then I’m thinking.
  • Adams bounced back after a poor first half, forcing Vucevic to catch the ball much further away from the basket. It changed the game.
  • Billy Donovan showed again he can make in-game adjustments, tinkering with lineups to find the right combination on the fly.
  • Enes Kanter sat quite a lot of the game (as did Ibaka down the stretch), only playing 18 minutes before he fouled out. Still got himself 10 points (4-of-8 shooting) and 6 rebounds though.
  • Westbrook was Westbrook. He took a few shots which weren’t pretty or within the flow of the offense, but he was terrific after starting the game on 2-of-9 shooting.
  • D.J. Augustin had one of his best games for the Thunder. Had 12 points (4-of-6 from the field) and 5 assists in 28 minutes, and was +24 in that time.
  • Dion Waiters had a forgettable night shooting with 3 points (1-of-6), but had 7 rebounds and 2 assists and was also +24 in his 29 minutes on the floor.
  • Mitch McGary and Nick Collison both registered DNP-CD’s tonight. This just points to Billy D using the right matchups where necessary, that’s all.
  • Tonight’s closing line up was Russ, D.J, Dion, KD & Kanter. A different look that provided some much needed offense and surprising defensive stops. 42 points in the 4th quarter.
  • That was the third time Durant and Westbrook have both had 40 points in a game. Last duo to do that? Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen.
  • Next game: Den, 1st of Nov, 6PM CST.

"Tweet of the Night"

They missed out on the best game of October basketball ever.

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