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Durant, Westbrook lead Thunder past Magic, 117-104

Source : AP
Last Updated: Sat, Mar 16, 2013 03:46 hrs

Kevin Durant scored 26 points and Russell Westbrook added 23 to help the Oklahoma City Thunder keep up their dominant play at home with a 117-104 victory over the Orlando Magic on Friday night.

The Thunder scored a season-high 73 points in the first half, shooting 64 percent from the floor and converting 18 of 22 free throws. Oklahoma City led by 27 in the second quarter, but Orlando made it close in the fourth quarter.

Jameer Nelson led Orlando with 26 points, including 5-for-12 shooting on 3s.

The Thunder led by 22 with 7 minutes to go in the third quarter before the Magic pulled to 103-99 midway through the fourth, prompting Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks had to put his starters back on the floor.

After Nelson's 3 pulled Orlando to 106-102 with 3:37 left, Durant had a three-point play 18 seconds later to push the lead back to seven.

Tobias Harris' layup got the Magic within five with 2:34 remaining, but they didn't score again.

Westbrook made his third 3-pointer of the night with 2:07 to go, Thabo Sefolosha hit a free throw, Durant made two from the line and added a layup in the final minute to close the scoring as Oklahoma City improved to 30-4 at home this season.

The Thunder looked like they were going to put the game away early, shooting 71 percent in the first quarter to lead by 13. They extended the lead to 27 before the Magic pulled to 73-56 at the half.

Oklahoma City dominated the Magic in nearly every statistical category, outrebounding Orlando 52-33 — including 44-26 on the defensive end.

With his team struggling to find the 20-win mark, first-year Orlando coach Jacque Vaughn acknowledged the Magic (18-48) were playing more for pride than a chance at the playoffs.

The second-half rally where Orlando outscored Oklahoma City 48-44 was a start. The Magic began cutting into the lead, outscoring the Thunder 28-22 in the third.

Instead of watching the game from the bench, starters Westbrook and Kendrick Perkins were forced to re-enter with 6:49 remaining followed by Durant, Sefolosha and Serge Ibaka soon after.

Harris continued to be a bright spot for the Magic since being acquired from Milwaukee. He scored 19 points in 40 minutes while largely guarding either Westbrook or Durant.

All five Orlando starters finished the game in double figures. Nikola Vucevic scored 21 points, Arron Afflalo had 10 and Maurice Harkless 12.

Ibaka scored 20 and Kevin Martin added 15 off the bench for the Thunder, who have won two in a row and 10 of their last 13.

NOTES: Oklahoma City F Hasheem Thabeet did not play due to a sore back. Rookie Perry Jones was the beneficiary of the available minutes, scoring eight points and grabbing five rebounds in 11:14 of work. ... Oklahoma had seven more turnovers than the Magic and half as many steals (6). ... Each team had 56 points in the paint. ... Harris scored in double figures in five of his 28 games with the Bucks. Since arriving in Orlando, he's scored double digits in nine of 11 games.




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