OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – Nikola Vucevic had a season high of 28 points and 10 rebounds, and the Orlando Magic defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder 118-107 Tuesday night.
Orlando, 4-0 for the first time in the franchise’s 31-season history, is one of only two remaining undefeated teams in the NBA alongside Atlanta. The Magic started 3-0 only three times before this season.
« We are happy that we can start the season 4-0, but at the same time we are aware that there are so many things we can do better, especially on the defensive, » said Vucevic. “The good thing is knowing that we could win. Now we can work on these things, get better, and take a step forward. ”
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had 23 points, seven rebounds and seven assists for Oklahoma City, which lost its second home game in two nights after winning its opener in Charlotte. The Thunder had won the last five games (and 15 of the last 18) against Magic and are now at home 10-3 against Orlando.
Dwayne Bacon left the field 9/10 and scored 18 points for eight rebounds for Orlando, topping the 110 mark for the fourth game in a row. After Thunder hit the 87-87 score early on game day four, Bacon scored six points in a 10-4 sprint that finally gave Orlando the lead.
Oklahoma City made only 4 of 13 free throws in the fourth, thwarting Thunder’s hopes of a rally. Isaiah Roby, who failed to score in an NBA game before Tuesday, had 19 points and seven rebounds for Oklahoma City, while Luguentz there added 15 and Mike Muscala added 14.
« I thought we scrapped quite a bit tonight, » said Thunder coach Mark Daigneault. “I found our competitiveness and our commitment to be pretty good, especially in the first three quarters. There were a couple of times where the game could have gotten away from us and we played a game or made a stop. Obviously (we) just didn’t get enough in the fourth or during the game. ”
Orlando led 36:27 at the beginning of the second quarter, before a 12-2 run – fueled by nine points from Hamidou Diallo – brought Thunder back into the lead with 39:38. The Magic extended their lead again, this time to 53-43, but Oklahoma City drew within 60-56 at halftime. The Thunder moved briefly to 80-80 with a 3-hand from Gilgeous-Alexander, but Orlando led 87-85 in the fourth quarter.
Magic: Vucevic became the Orlando franchise leader in field goals at 12 against the thunder. He now has 4. 083 with the magic and overtakes Nick Anderson (4. 075) in that statistical category … Aaron Gordon started, but coach Steve Clifford said Gordon still has a minute limit as the player is recovering from a hamstring injury sustained last season. He scored 12 points in 22 minutes.
Thunder: Center Al Horford didn’t play and rested on the second day of a tackle while veteran security guard George Hill missed the game with neck cramps … Roby and Justin Jackson both started for Oklahoma City for the first time this season. It was Roby’s first career start and he scored nine points in the first quarter … The shootout continued for Aleksej Pokusevski from the first round, who went 1 of 8 out of the field despite scoring his first career points in the third quarter of his third NBA game.
Clifford on Vucevic sets the franchise record for field goals: « He’s such a professional and so committed, conscientious player. … He gives me a lot of credit for playing well since I’ve been here. There is no man here whom I have helped less than him. How he works, how much time he puts in, he was an All-Star two years ago and last year he was our best player. He’s in a great place right now and ready for a great year. ”
Thunder: Hosts New Orleans Thursday before kicking off a five-game track in Orlando on Saturday.
Oklahoma City Thunder, Orlando Magic, Al Horford, NBA, Nikola Vucevic, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
World News – USA – Vucevic has the double-double as Magic Beat Thunder 118-107