Magic's Top Performers vs. Thunder
By Josh Cohen
Nov. 29, 2017
Gordon maintained his confidence after missing three straight shots to start the game, finishing with 40 points, 15 rebounds, four assists and four steals. He shot 13-of-23 from the field, 6-of-12 from 3-point range and 8-of-11 from the free throw line. AG, who erupted for 41 points earlier this season against the Nets, is the first player since Dwight Howard in 2010-11 to score 40 or more multiple times in the same season.
It was apparent early on – particularly when he crossed up Russell Westbrook on one play and then eluded the reigning league MVP with a nifty behind-the-back dribble on another – that Payton was going to have a superb night. Aggressive on his drives and crafty when he got in the lane, E.P. stuffed the stat sheet with 19 points, six assists, five rebounds, four steals and a block.
Vucevic flirted with a triple-double with 15 points, seven rebounds and seven assists. It was his astuteness on defense, though, that made the biggest difference. While he wasn’t credited with any blocks or steals, Vucevic did a terrific job contesting shots near the rim and containing OKC’s dribble drives in pick-and-rolls.
Fournier came alive down the stretch, scoring 13 of his 16 points after halftime and burying a dagger 3-pointer with 2:26 remaining in the fourth quarter. He made three of his eight 3-point attempts and shot 5-of-12 overall. In his fourth season with the Magic, Fournier has scored in double figures in all but two games so far this year.
The Magic needed some help from the reserves, especially after Terrence Ross left the game with a knee injury in the second quarter, and they got that support from Augustin, Bismack Biyombo and Arron Afflalo. Augustin registered 11 points and made a pair of threes early in the fourth to stretch Orlando’s lead to as much as 22. Biyombo had eight points and four rebounds and the Magic outscored the Thunder by 20 when Afflalo was on the court.