Denton: Magic vs. Thunder Analysis (12/15/13)


By John Denton
Dec. 15, 2013

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Orlando Magic did everything in their power to hang with the powerful Oklahoma Thunder on Sunday night, relentlessly attacking the rim, repeatedly diving for loose balls and playing all game with tremendous resolve.

But each time there was a bit of slippage or a shooting drought, a Thunder team that simply doesn’t lose right now before its fanatical fan base would surge ahead of a Magic squad that was expending everything that it had.

Orlando gamely hung tough all night, withstanding early onslaughts from superstars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. The Magic did hit a couple of rough spots in the second half, but they gamely fought to the end before coming up just short in a 101-98 loss to Oklahoma City.

``We never gave up. We thought as a team that we could win that game the whole game and for us that’s important,’’ said Magic forward Tobias Harris’ whose final heave was ruled to have happened after the buzzer. ``That’s a right step in the right direction for us as a team.’’

Orlando remarkably used a 10-0 run late in the game to get within two points of the Thunder with 22 seconds to play. Durant hit a free throw with 13 seconds to go to put the Thunder up by three, but Orlando couldn’t convert in the final seconds.


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